Headlines: February 18th, 2003

More than 8,000 extra training places for nurses, midwives, therapists and healthcare scientists in the National Health Service are to be funded from a record investment announced to coincide with the launch of the 2003 NHS national recruitment campaign. Over the next year more than 3.4 billion pounds will be spent on supporting the learning and development of healthcare staff – an increase of more than 12 per cent.Health Minister John Hutton announced that by 2005/06 there would be a 50 per cent increase in the funding that supports training for nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare scientists.

Around 746 million pounds will be spent on supporting the training of undergraduate medical and dental students – an increase of 27 per cent. More than 1,300 million will go on supporting doctors and dentists undertaking specialist training. Over the next three years to 2006 the increased funds will pay for an extra 8,212 training places.

At the same time the government has launched this year’s million-pound recruitment campaign, promoting careers in the NHS and to encourage staff who have left the service to return. Under the slogan “Join the team, make a difference”, the campaign covers all areas, including nursing and midwifery, the allied health professions, healthcare science, medicine and dentistry. Television commercials will be backed up with press adverts.

Last year’s national advertising campaign generated more than 51,000 responses. Since the first campaign was launched in 1999 more than 13,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors have returned to work for the NHS and another 1,709 nurses are currently on refresher courses, or preparing to go on them.