Health educators have called on the next government to prioritise investment in the current and future healthcare workforce to ensure the sustainability of health and social care in the UK.
Highlighting uncertainty around future funding for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions courses and recent cuts in England to funding for continuing professional development, the Council of Deans of Health identifies the resolution of these issues as being key priorities for the next UK government.
The Council’s manifesto ‘Towards sustainability: ensuring the future healthcare workforce’ sets out three priority areas: investing in the graduate workforce, building on the expertise and experience of existing staff and increasing innovation and research capacity.
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Chair of the Council, representing UK university faculties engaged in education and research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions, said:
“Investment in the existing workforce, to improve skills and reflect changes in how care is delivered, is essential for patient care and safety. At the same time, shortfalls in supply coupled with the challenges to the workforce posed by Brexit highlight the need for adequate funding to ensure an expansion in the number of future healthcare professionals being educated”.
The manifesto also highlights the risk to applied health research of reductions in funding post-Brexit, with UK universities currently receiving over £3 million of EU research grant funding per year.
Professor Corner said:
“Research led by nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, which is largely dependent on UK government and EU funding, is instrumental in improving patient care. It is important that research capacity for these professions is increased and access to EU research and innovation programmes is maintained”.
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. For further information: councilofdeans.org.uk.
- Towards sustainability: ensuring the future healthcare workforce
- For more information on this press release, please contact Jon Eames on 07496 693806.