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Wales to get 161 more nurse training places next year

Nurse training places in Wales will rise by almost 10% next year as part of a £107 million investment in education and training, adding 161 places across all four fields of nursing


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Nurse training places in Wales will rise by almost 10% next year as part of a £107 million investment in education and training.

The Welsh government says an extra 161 places will be available in 2018, bringing the total to 1,911, with increases across all four fields of nursing – adult, child, learning disability and mental health.

The total number of new student places for healthcare education programmes in Wales, including nursing, will top 3,500 in a training package up £12 million from this year.

What the programme includes

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘The austerity policy pursued by the UK government has significantly impacted our budget and in those circumstances training is often one of the first casualties. But that is a short-sighted approach.

‘Instead, we are actually increasing investment in training, despite the budget cuts, in order to secure the long-term future of the health service.’

The programme includes:

  • Additional health visitor training places.
  • A 10% increase in physiotherapy and occupational therapy training places.
  • Maintaining all other levels of training places commissioned in 2017, including the 40% increase in midwifery training places.
  • A further cohort of physician associate training places available from September 2018.

Neighbourhood nursing

In addition, £2 million will be invested in 2018-19, and the same amount the following year, to support a neighbourhood nursing care pilot programme called Buurtzorg.

Buurtzorg, which is Dutch for ‘neighbourhood care’, is a nurse-led organisation set up in the Netherlands in 2006 to promote integrated health and social care, and aims to enable patients to retain as much independence and autonomy as possible.

The majority of the funding will be used to support education and training programmes for district nurses.

Leading the way

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said the extra funding and training places would help address a shortfall of nurses, and help support those who remain in the profession.

She added: 'It is particularly good news to see that the money includes £2 million to support a pilot of the Buurtzorg project for neighbourhood nursing care.

'The RCN has long supported this model, which has gained international acclaim for its nurse-led, cost-effective principles that rely on nurse innovation leading the way for care of patients in their own communities.'


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