Record levels of more than £260m 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 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.
The additional training places will increase the capacity of the workforce to help the NHS respond to the challenges facing it in the future.
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.
It comes as the NHS has more people working in it than at any time in its history, all aimed at prevention and care for members of society, across every community in Wales.
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 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%.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:
This investment, which is the eighth consecutive year we have increased funding for training places, shows our commitment to supporting the workforce capacity of NHS Wales.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a great demand on our NHS and we are incredibly proud of how everyone has stepped up to the plate to care for the people of Wales.
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.
Alex Howells, HEIW Chief Executive, said:
We are delighted that the education and training plan has been supported and look forward to working with our partners to implement the recommendations.
“Wales is a great place to train and learn, and we are very grateful to the many staff across the NHS and our education institutions in Wales for the valuable contribution they make to teaching and supporting our future workforce.