£260m funding for training healthcare staff announced
More than £260 million will be invested in training healthcare professionals in Wales in an effort to help the NHS respond to the pandemic and challenges in the future, the Welsh government has announced.
It said the investment for 2022/23, which is a 15% increase from 2021/22, will see the highest ever number of training opportunities in Wales.
It will be the eighth consecutive year funding to support health professional education and training in Wales will increase.
Plaid Cymru welcomed the funding said it will continue to make the case for more "investment and an expansion in training places."
The additional training places will increase the capacity of the workforce to help the NHS.
The funding will go towards training places for anaesthetists and oncologists, as well as those working in intensive care, emergency medicine, acute medicine, palliative medicine and psychiatry.
The additional investment includes £18m for education and training programmes for healthcare professionals in Wales; £5m extra for medical training places, nearly £8m to support core GP training numbers and a net increase of nearly £3m for pharmacy training across Wales.
The government said the investment will see the increase in health professional and medical training places for 2022/23, including;
111 Adult Nursing places;
73 Mental Health Nursing places;
22 clinical radiology trainees (20 south and 2 north);
maintaining the current target of 160 GP’s intake per annum, with an option to over-recruit to 200 when feasible.
Over the past five years, nurse training places have also increased by 55.2% and midwives have increased by 96.8%.
Dr Khattab Alkhedairy is a trainee radiologist said there's "nowhere near enough of us" and the workload has risen "exponentially and the workforce hasn't been able to keep up with that."
He added: "The more radiologist we get the quicker we can do the scans, the quicker we can report them and the better the outcome for the patients."
Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS speaking to ITV Wales reporter Katie Fenton
Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS said it shows their "commitment to supporting the NHS."
“We need to keep training and strengthening our workforce, so it is prepared for all future challenges it may face and improve resilience as we bid to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” she said.
Plaid Cymru’s Health Spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said: "I have long argued that training more doctors, nurses and other health professionals is vital in order to make the health and care workforce in Wales sustainable for generations to come."
“This extra funding towards training NHS staff in Wales is welcome, and I will continue to make the case for more investment and an expansion in training places.“