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Wales earmarks £18 million for more nurse training places

Funding will enable increase in 2022-23 adult and mental health nurse training numbers, as country tries to boost NHS workforce and recover from COVID-19 pandemic

Funding will enable increase in 2022-23 adult and mental health nurse training numbers, as country tries to boost NHS workforce and recover from COVID-19 pandemic

The Welsh Government is to invest more than £18 million to increase the country’s nurse training numbers in 2022-23.

The investment will allow for a further 111 adult and 73 mental health nurse training places to be offered, in an effort to increase the NHS workforce in the country.

Preparing for future challenges and recovering from COVID-19

The funding is part of a wider £260 million programme to increase training for health professionals across Wales, including £5 million extra for medical training places, and nearly £8 million to support core GP training numbers.

Funding will enable increase in 2022-23 adult and mental health nurse training numbers, as country tries to boost NHS workforce and recover from COVID-19 pandemic

The cash injection is part of a wider £260m programme to increase training for health professionals across Wales
Picture: iStock

The Welsh Government is to invest more than £18 million to increase the country’s nurse training numbers in 2022-23.

The investment will allow for a further 111 adult and 73 mental health nurse training places to be offered, in an effort to increase the NHS workforce in the country.

Preparing for future challenges and recovering from COVID-19

The funding is part of a wider £260 million programme to increase training for health professionals across Wales, including £5 million extra for medical training places, and nearly £8 million to support core GP training numbers.

Health minister Eluned Morgan said the increase in training places for nurses and other healthcare professionals would help Wales recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We need to keep training and strengthening our workforce so it is prepared for all future challenges, and improve resilience as we recover from the effects of the pandemic,’ she said.

Over the past five years, nurse training places in Wales have increased by 55%, and midwifery places by 96%, the Welsh Government said in a statement.

Develop strategy to attract and retain nurses amid workforce crisis

The new funding will go towards training places in intensive care, emergency medicine, acute medicine, palliative medicine and psychiatry.

It comes as RCN Wales called on the Welsh Government to develop a national strategy to attract and retain nurses, including collecting and publishing vacancy data, as is the case in the other UK countries.

An RCN Wales workforce report estimates that nurses in the country are working a total of more than 34,000 hours overtime every week, sometimes unpaid, amid a workforce crisis.

The report also estimates there are 1,719 nursing vacancies in the country, up from 1,612 in 2020, which the college says has led to nurses working beyond their contracted hours.

RCN Wales director Helen Whyley said further effort should be focused on increasing district nurse numbers. ‘What is equally as pressing is the retention of our current nurses working in the NHS,’ she said. ‘Our district nurses are a precious resource and there are less district nurses now then there were 10 years ago.’

This week, 56% of nurses in Wales who took part in an RCN ballot said they were prepared to strike over the 3% pay offer. In the indicative ballot to gauge appetite for industrial action, some 91% of nurses in Wales who took part said they support action short of a strike.

The RCN has called for nurses to receive a 12.5% pay rise. The college will use the ballot results to consider next steps in its campaign for fair pay.


Find out more

RCN Wales: Nursing in Numbers (2021) An Overview of the Nursing Workforce in Wales


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