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No increase in nursing training places in Wales for 2019 despite funding boost

There will be no increase in the amount of nurse training places in Wales for 2019, despite the Welsh Government making an extra £7 million available for training and education for health professionals.

The Welsh Government has announced it will invest £114 million in 2019/20 to support a range of education and training programmes for healthcare professionals in Wales, the fifth consecutive year that funding for education and training has been increased.

While the Welsh Government says that this funding will be used for education and training places to support a range of roles, including nurses, midwives and health visitors, this doesn’t extend to increasing the overall number of places available.

From 2014 to 2018, the overall number of nursing places increased from 1053 to 1771. In addition, district nurses places more than trebled from 24 to 80 and health visitor places nearly doubled from 49 to 92. Practice nurse places increased from 14 to 20. But all will remain static for 2019.

There will be investment to ensure the workforce of the future is able to deal with the challenges set out in the plan, according to the Welsh Government. For instance, increased funding will be available to support the advanced practice/extended skills and healthcare support worker development.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘This record level of funding will support the highest ever number of training opportunities in Wales for health professionals.

‘The establishment of Health Education and Improvement Wales provides greater opportunities to consider both current and future workforce challenges and how education and training can support the changes required to address these challenges. Working with key partners HEIW will provide leadership in this area.’