University bodies have given initial backing to a Government plan to increase health professional student numbers and have welcomed the announcement that there will be full consultation on its implementation.
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health said:
‘We have a workforce crisis in health and social care and we’re still educating fewer students than the NHS needs. We recognise that this has been a difficult decision for the government but are pleased that the government has found a way forward. Carefully implemented, this should allow universities in partnership with the NHS to increase the number of training places and also improve day to day financial support for students while they are studying.’
The plan means that students will have access to more day to day maintenance support through the loans system and recognises that these disciplines are higher cost, science-based subjects.
Professor Steve West, Chair of Universities UK’s Health Education and Research Policy Network said:
‘We support increasing health professional student numbers and will work with Government and the NHS to secure the sustainable funding system that ensures a high quality future health workforce.
Success will depend on getting the details right. Areas that need to be addressed include mature student participation, issues for professions that struggle with student recruitment and the importance of placement funding and capacity.
We now urge a commitment from all departments to manage a stable transition to the new system.’
Notes to editors:
- The Council of Deans of Health is the voice of the deans and heads of UK university faculties for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions councilofdeans.org.uk
- Universities UK is the representative organisation for the UK’s universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the definitive voice for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector. With 133 members and offices in London, Cardiff (Universities Wales) and Edinburgh (Universities Scotland), it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally. Visit: universitiesuk.ac.uk
- For more information on this press release please email Gareth Morgan or Jon Eames or call 07805 873882.