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Funding boost for clinical placements growth and teaching

26 August 2020

Health Education England has today announced that £15m will be made available through its Clinical Placement Expansion Programme (CPEP) to increase clinical placements in the NHS and support growth in Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy and all the other Allied Health Professions. This represents a 50% increase in the funding previously pledged.

The funding will be broken down as follows:

  • £8.2m towards an additional 7,000 nursing and midwifery clinical placements across all regions and
  • £5.8m towards an additional 3,800 allied health profession placements concentrating on the prioritised areas such as placement education facilitators with a further £1m of that investment focused on sustainable technologies.

This additional investment has been targeted to support the welcome expansion across all health professions undergraduate programmes this September.

The Department of Health and Social Care  is also providing additional funding to support the lifting of the cap for medicine and dentistry courses.

And in addition, the Department for Education are making additional funds available through the Teaching Grant to support increasing capacity. DfE expects this funding to prioritise high-cost subjects such as medicine, dentistry, nursing and other healthcare disciplines as well as laboratory-based courses.  The Office for Students will consult with providers about the distribution of this funding shortly.

Professor Wendy Reid, Interim Chief Executive, Health Education England said:

These young people are the future NHS workforce and we are committed to making sure there are career paths for them all.  Providing placement opportunities is a key part of this and we want to provide support for students across all professions.

‘It is vital that we can increase placement capacity by developing new placement networks that make more use of primary care settings, the PIVO sector (private, independent and voluntary organisations) and technology-based placements combined with alternative models of supervision.

Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said:

The response we received from organisations expressing their desire to provide placements for more students was far greater than we had imagined so I am really pleased that further funds have been found to enable us to expand the programme.

Placements are a key part of a student’s learning giving them the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained at university in learning key skills and achieve the required competences so they can eventually register in their chosen profession, and provide the best possible care for patients.

These additional placements will expand the pipeline of our future workforce, meaning more healthcare professionals across the health and social care system. We will be working directly with Universities, the NHS and other system providers to ensure the placements are provided in those areas of most need across the country.

Beverley Harden, Allied Health Professions Lead, Health Education England, said:

The tireless commitment of systems to drive placement recovery alongside innovation and growth is testament to the value our systems place upon the skills of AHPs and our future workforce pipeline. The additional opportunity to capitalise upon the use of technology to drive resilient services and maintain training will support the digital transformation across the professions.

The £15m has been awarded to hospital trusts, primary care providers and some training hubs across the country.