The Welsh healthcare sector is set to benefit from more than 500 extra training places for a wide range of NHS professionals, after the country’s government approved Health Education and Improvement Wales’ “ambitious” plan for the next few years.
Coming in as an 8% increase, the plan will be backed by a record-breaking £281m funding package, meaning that Wales’ health education and training budgets have increased for the ninth consecutive year.
An additional 527 training places will be created through the plan, spanning nurses and midwives all the way to paramedics and pharmacy technicians.
The full breakdown of the professions benefiting from the increased training places includes:
- Adult nurses which go from 1,651 to 1,892 positions – the equivalent of a 14.6% boost.
- Child nurses which go from 175 to 192 positions – the equivalent of a 9.7% boost.
- Mental health nurses which go from 410 to 530 positions – the equivalent of a 29% boost.
- Midwives which go from 185 to 190 positions – the equivalent of a 2.7 boost.
- Physiotherapists which go from 174 to 180 positions – the equivalent of a 3.4% boost.
- Occupational therapists which go from 179 to 197 positions – the equivalent of a 10% boost.
- Paramedics which go from 116 to 120 positions – the equivalent of a 3.4% boost.
- Pharmacy technicians which go from 30 to 50 positions – the equivalent of a 66.7% boost.
Announcing the plan, Welsh Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, said: “Despite the inflationary pressures on our budget we are committed to investing in the NHS workforce in Wales. I am delighted to increase training places once again for nurses and the many other health professions, which are the backbone of our health service.
“A well-trained NHS workforce with the right skills is essential to providing a sustainable high-quality care to people across Wales and improving standards in our health service. These additional training places will deliver a workforce which can respond to the challenges of the future.
“The Welsh NHS currently has more people working in it than at any time in its history, focusing on prevention and care across every community.”
Health Education and Improvement Wales’ Director of Nurse and Health Professional Education, Lisa Llewelyn, added: “This plan has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders from the NHS in Wales and will support current and future workforce numbers.
“Building on growth from previous years, the additional education and training places will mean increased numbers of a range of qualified healthcare professionals being available to deliver quality care to our population and work in Wales in a range of roles and locations.”