Chancellor to announce £210m funding boost for nurse training
Almost half a million frontline NHS staff are to benefit from a £210 million funding boost to train and retain nurses, Chancellor Sajid Javid is to announce.
The money, which is for the 2020/21 financial year, includes a £1,000 personal development budget for every nurse, midwife and allied health professional to support their personal learning over a three-year period.
Currently, many nurses and other health professionals in the NHS are expected to fund part of their learning themselves to meet regulators’ requirements.
The Treasury said access to additional training is regularly cited as an issue affecting morale and retention for non-medical staff, especially nurses.
It said the funding will help those staff to develop “rewarding, lifelong careers” in the health service.
The latest support package is part of the spending round, which sets departments’ budgets for the next financial year, and will be announced by Mr Javid on Wednesday.
In addition to the personal development budgets provided by central government for this year, employers will also be expected to provide additional funding locally to invest in their staff.
The Treasury said reforms also mean the starting salary for a newly qualified nurses will be £24,907 in 2020/21, 12.6% higher than in 2017/18.
Chief nursing officer for England, Ruth May, said: “The nurses, midwives, care workers and other staff I speak to across England tell me time and again how important ongoing training is when they are thinking about their next career move, so I know today’s signal of intent will be welcomed across the health service.”
Nurses are required to undertake at least 35 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) every three years to remain registered and demonstrate that they practise safety and effectively.
As well as having to fund part of their learning themselves, many nurses find there is variation in the amount of training that can be undertaken during working hours.
The Treasury said the funding boost aims to “address” the issue and will help nurses advance their careers and develop new clinical skills.
The Government will work with the NHS, professional trade unions and employers to ensure the funding gets to staff on the frontline and takes into account local circumstances, priorities and skills shortages, the Treasury said.
Wider education and training budgets will also get a funding boost to support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The Treasury said the spending round will focus on public services, including the recruitment of 20,000 extra police officers, “billions of pounds” in additional funding for schools, and delivering the Government’s promises on the NHS.