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Call over student nursing cuts

The vice chancellor of the University of Worcester is urging the health secretary to rethink plans to cut trainee nurse places.

Professor David Green said the cuts would lead to greater costs for the NHS in the long run and called on Andrew Lansley to "save the education of the country's future nurses".

The cut announced by the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority will impact on universities across the county, with places at Worcester set to drop by 16% from September, Prof Green said.

"Earlier this year West Midlands Strategic Health Authority reversed a decision to cut 16% of all midwifery training places on the personal order of the secretary of state Andrew Lansley, following pressure from universities and the Royal College of Midwives," he said.

"The University of Worcester is hoping that the secretary of state will again intervene to save the education of the country's future nurses."

Prof Green said nursing graduates from Worcester were "snapped up" by hospitals and health trusts, with the most recent figures showing 100% employment rate.

A spokeswoman for NHS West Midlands said: "All SHAs develop long term workforce plans based on detailed projections made by NHS organisations around the level of staffing required to meet future demand of local health services.

"The SHA is currently commissioning training places to provide a workforce in 2014 based on these projections.

"Our workforce plans are not developed in isolation - they are developed with senior hospital clinicians, such as directors of nursing and heads of midwifery, and are scrutinised at a national level."

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