Royal College of Nursing (RCN) CEO Janet Davies has expressed concerns about CPD funding cuts to MPs.
Fewer nurses are expected to be trained in specialist and advanced roles in the NHS over the coming years due to the “decimation” of professional development funding, a group of MPs has been warned during an inquiry into nursing workforce shortages.
The reduction in the NHS national budget for continuing professional development training – which has been more than halved in the space of two years – is also “the biggest single factor” causing nurses to leave their jobs, the MPs were told during a hearing this week.
The chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing and the body representing NHS employers both laid out their concerns over the funding reductions while giving evidence to the Commons’ health select committee on Tuesday.
Health Education England has reduced the total budget that it passes to trusts for “workforce development” funding for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by 60% – from £205m in 2015 to £83.49m in 2017.
RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said this level of funding cut would not only make it more difficult for nurses to maintain their skills, but would also stop some from being able to train for more advanced roles.
“That isn’t only nurses doing a programme to keep up to date, this is training for district nursing, for health visiting, for advanced practice and specialist nurses,” she told the MPs.
“I find it very sad that…when we are so desperate for nurses we are taking out the funding for them to continue to develop”