The Council of Deans of Health has welcomed the recommendations of the report on NHS workforce shortages published today by The Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust. The report, Closing the gap, recommends the introduction of ‘cost of living’ grants for nursing students on top of the means-tested loans system and exempting postgraduate students from paying tuition fees.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council, said:
“Any significant expansion in the number of nurses will require decisive action to support a growth in student numbers, which is required now. We believe the introduction of a maintenance grant for healthcare students, along with high profile national recruitment campaigns, would help attract and support students. It is important to remember that although the report focuses on nursing, other professions such as therapeutic radiography and podiatry face similar shortages and will also require similar support to increase recruitment.
“Postgraduate pre-registration courses attract high quality graduates into healthcare careers and represent the quickest way to expand workforce numbers. It makes good sense to pay tuition fees for these students to encourage graduates of other subjects into the profession and we would urge that this is given immediate consideration”.