The Council of Deans of Health has welcomed the speech today by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, at the CNO’s Summit in which he called for a meaningful expansion of the number of undergraduate nurses and pledged to restore continuing professional development (CPD) budgets over the next five years.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council, said:
“We welcome the acknowledgement of the importance of CPD and the commitment to restoring CPD budgets. Investment is vital to support training capacity, service quality and retention. The Council has consistently called for a reversal of cuts and we look forward to hearing more detail about the proposed levels of investment in CPD funding.
“We are also pleased to see the focus on increasing the number of undergraduate nurses. Although other routes have the potential to support increases in numbers, university-based routes remain the quickest way to grow the workforce”.
In his speech, Simon Stevens spoke of the need for more placements to support the ambition to increase the number of undergraduate nurses.
Professor Webster-Henderson responded:
“Simon Stevens is correct to identify placement capacity as a constraint to growth in some areas and on some courses. His commitment to placement funding and partnership working between employers and universities is an important step in the right direction. For real impact this needs to be accompanied by measures to attract students to healthcare professions and support them while they study”.
New appointments were announced at the CNO Summit including a new Chief Midwifery Officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, and deputy chief and regional nurses Susan Aitkenhead, Hilary Garratt, Mark Radford and Neil Churchill.
Professor Webster-Henderson said:
“We would like to welcome Jacqueline to this important new role and looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the whole team”.