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Ongoing training for physios hit by 45% funding cut

23 September 2016 - 10:25am

Funds to train and educate allied health professionals in England have been cut by 45 per cent this academic year, says a report by leading academics.

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Karen Middleton said the cuts ‘make a mockery’ of NHS England's Five Year Forward View

The deep reduction will affect short courses, modules and programmes for NHS staff, warns A False Economy, published by the Council of Deans of Health.

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said the cuts ‘make a mockery’ of NHS England's Five Year Forward View, which acknowledged a need for greater funding for staff training.

Ongoing education and training is essential for safe, effective care, says the report, particularly as new treatments and technology evolve, and healthcare staff roles change.

The report says there is a disconnect between funding decisions and national strategic priorities. The cuts also pose a risk to the health service.

Training and education for nurses and midwives are also affected. Funding for doctors’ postgraduate education continues to be protected, however.

The first step is for government to acknowledge that strategic priorities and funding decisions on continuing professional developments are at odds with each other, says the report.

It calls for an urgent national discussion. This must involve NHS England and NHS Improvement and be led by the Department of Health.

‘This report highlights how important investing in the skills of health professionals, like physiotherapists, is to improving patient care and delivering high-quality, sustainable services,’ said Ms Middleton.

‘The Council of Deans is right to call on the government to turn rhetoric into reality by investing in the workforce.’

A False Economy is based on telephone interviews with university deans who lead faculties engaged in continuing professional development for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. The interviews were conducted in May and June 2016.

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