NHS: Training

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord MacKenzie of Culkein Lord MacKenzie of Culkein Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether placements in nurse training and education are under-funded; and, if so, by how much.

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether placements for undergraduate medical students are over-funded; and, if so, by how much.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the reasons for the delay in providing financial support for all training placements for all students in healthcare disciplines.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Government Whip, Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Proposals are being developed to introduce dedicated funding for selected clinical placements as part of the review of the Multi-Professional Education and Training (MPET) budget, which was commissioned following Lord Darzi's Next Stage Review. Implementation has been delayed at the request of stakeholders who have asked the department to ensure that any changes are carefully considered and, where appropriate, piloted before implementation, so as to avoid any unforeseen consequences such as destabilising clinical education, or organisations providing National Health Service services. The department supports this prudent approach and currently plans to start implementation in April 2011.

Currently, the cost of supporting clinical placements for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals is included within general service prices. These costs are fully funded but the total costs are not identified or funded separately.

Cost data collected from a sample of NHS organisations (as part of the MPET Review), to inform possible future placement rates, suggested that the aggregate sum invested in clinical placements for undergraduate medical students exceeds estimated costs by around £100 million per annum. The cost of clinical placements for pre-registration non-medical students proved more difficult to assess, because of the wide range of courses, settings and support provided in respect of different clinical placements. The review therefore concluded that it was not possible to establish a single, simple, universal non-medical clinical placement rate from such a limited costing exercise.

Proposals have therefore been developed to use the placement rate that is used successfully for undergraduate training in social care, pending more accurate identification of the non-medical clinical placement costs through the annual reference costing exercise that is undertaken by all NHS trusts. These proposals are currently being considered with the NHS.

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