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HEE pledges £10m to expand nursing placements



Health Education England yesterday announced that it would invest an additional £10m to expand the number of clinical placements for nursing, midwifery and selected allied health professional students.

The move would increase the number of student health professionals starting courses this September, therefore helping to deliver 50,000 more nurses by 2023, as promised in the build-up to the December election last year, said HEE.

The additional funding will be coupled with the previously announced extension for universities to apply to fill healthcare courses and bid for 5,000 additional ring-fenced places, as more students are applying for programmes than expected.

HEE chief nurse Mark Radford said it would be working directly with universities, the NHS and other providers to ensure the placements would be in ‘areas of most need’ across the country.

He said: ‘These additional placements will expand the pipeline of our future workforce, meaning more healthcare professionals across health and social care system.’

Nursing student placement providers – including the NHS, social care and general practice – can bid for money to run the placements until 17 July.

Applications to nursing degrees are up by 6% with 45,430 applying by the 2020 January deadline, a rise from 43,630 at the same point in 2019 – but vacancies remain on courses, University and College Admissions Service figures have shown.

Last month, student nurses furiously reacted to minister for care Helen Whately suggesting they were not ‘deemed to be providing a service’.

Health Education England was also forced last month to confirm it was not cutting paid placements short after outcry from student nurses and midwives on social media.