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Education funding reforms

The 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review reformed health education funding for students on nursing, midwifery and allied health professions pre-registration courses.

From 1 August 2017, new students on these courses will access funding through the standard student support package provided by the Student Loans Company. Student loans cover the cost of tuition fees and means-tested maintenance loans to support living costs.

The Government’s intention is that these reforms will remove the cap on student numbers, with the aim to increase the number of students by ‘up to 10,000’ across the lifetime of the Parliament.

Transitioning to the New System

HEE continues to be responsible for funding clinical placements, based on the tariff set by the Department of Health for Social Care (DHSC).  This will be at a level commensurate with the minimum numbers of registered professionals needed by the NHS. The government has committed to providing clinical placement funding for an additional 10,000 places to support the planned expansion in student numbers and give universities flexibility to deliver extra places for students across a range of roles.

DHSC’s mandate requires HEE to support transition to the new funding system. We have been asked to lead the development of future delivery models and funding options that can be aligned with the future commissioning of clinical placements in a market led system. This includes working with providers to increase placement capacity and making plans to continue placement expansion into 2018/19 and beyond.

Identifying a model for distributing tariff funding

In 2016, HEE held a number of listening and engagement events with stakeholders across the country. These listening exercise and events were held to inform proposals for the development of a new system for planning and governing NHS funding of non-medical clinical placements to be implemented for 2018/19 academic year.

The series of engagement events identified ‘place-based’ models as the best option for testing a new funding system for allocating and distributing tariff funding in a market led system where education providers are the recruiters of the future NHS workforce. The option offered the greatest scope for transparency in funding flows to ensure providers and the student could access placement funding.

More information can be found in the Overview of engagement events.

Piloting place-based funding model

From Autumn 2018, HEE will begin to pilot a place-based funding model for allocating tariff funding for clinical placements of nursing, midwifery and allied health professional courses. Contrary to the current model, in which HEE allocates tariff funding directly to placement providers for specific professions, the place-based model will pool funding for all professions in a geographical area (i.e. ‘place’) together.

The place-based funding model will test whether the place can improve placement capacity and capability in delivering high quality clinical placements to all tariff eligible courses. A key focus will be to consider whether place-based approaches can provide stimulating and innovative learning environments which facilitate integration of theory with practice, in the context of integrated care pathways delivered by multi-disciplinary teams across a range of clinical contexts.

The pilot programme will initially be considering funding placements for the 19 non-medical pre-registration programmes eligible for tariff:

  1. Adult Nursing
  2. Mental Health Nursing
  3. L&D Nursing
  4. Child Nursing
  5. Midwifery
  6. Chiropody
  7. Podiatry
  8. Dietetics
  9. Occupational Therapy
  10. Operating Department Practice
  1. Paramedics
  2. Physiotherapy
  3. Speech &   Language Therapy
  4. Diagnostic Radiography
  5. Therapeutic Radiography
  6. Dental Hygiene
  7. Dental Therapy
  8. Orthotists & Prosthetics
  9. Orthoptics

Further information about the place-based funding can be found in HEE’s Policy Framework to guide the pilot programme and FAQs are provided below.