CPD budgets that were previously cut by Health Education England (HEE) will be reinstated over the next five years, it has been announced today.
Speaking at the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Summit in Birmingham, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens gave delegates his ‘personal guarantee’ that CPD budgets would be restored.
He admitted that CPD played a vital role in the career development and retention of nurses, but acknowledged years of cuts had impacted nurses’ ability to access CPD, saying that ‘we’re going to have to put that right’.
He said: ‘Between now and the Autumn, you have my personal guarantee that we will get a restoration, phased over the next five years, of the budgets required for CPD’.
Mr Stevens’ guarantee builds on expectations outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan that investment in CPD will increase over the next five years, as part of an effort to improve staff retention by at least 2% by 2025 – the equivalent of 12,400 additional nurses.
The announcement follows huge cuts to budgets for nurse CPD over the last six years. In 2013, HEE’s budget for CPD was over £200m, but was cut to just £83m as recently as 2017.
In January 2018, the health select committee of MPs, led by GP and Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, called on the Government to restore CPD budgets, stating that lack of access to CPD contributed to a ‘general sense of not being valued’.
HEE announced in June last year that the CPD budget would increase by 17%, relative to 2017, but it still meant that the CPD budget for England was less than £100m.