Response to Health Secretary announcement on new nursing training places

Responding to the Secretary of State's announcement ​on funding for 5,000 new nursing training places in England, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and Chair of Universities UK Health Policy Network, said:​

"The Secretary of State's announcement of funding for an extra 5,000 nursing student placements is good news. It means that universities can recruit more students onto nursing degree courses and produce the health care graduates the NHS needs.

"The expansion of nursing associate places is also good news. Universities provide the training for these new roles. We emphatically support the opportunities they bring especially when they transition into degree apprenticeships. At the same time, it's clear that the straightforward degree route is the quickest and most effective way to bring new nurses into the system.

"We are calling for a national campaign to recognise the enormous value of these graduate professions, not only nurses but also midwives, allied health professionals and of course doctors. As health care advances, becomes more technologically demanding and is delivered in new settings, we need clinicians to match, who will deliver not just care but also research and innovation in the 21st century NHS. Most importantly we need to persuade our young people that these highly valued, highly skilled careers are there for them.

"With that in mind, we encourage government to focus also on the skills and morale of the current workforce including their continuous professional development and their capacity to do and use research."

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