Research undertaken by the House of Commons Library has revealed that the NHS workforce training budget has plummetted by 4.7% in the last 5 years.
Health Education England, which manages the NHS’s workforce and training budget, has consequently been forced to reduce its expenditure by 7.6% in real terms between 2013/14 and 2017/18.
Further cuts are coming with day to day spending on the wider health budget set to fall by £1 billion in real terms next year, the Health Foundation states this will include cuts to the workforce training budget.
Health Education England’s funding as a percentage of the overall Department of Health Budget has fallen year on year since 2013/14- to just 3.9% in 2017/18.
Labour have demanded these cuts be reversed and a long-term plan is put in place to stop the decline of staff training in the NHS. Speaking to the House of the Shadow Secretary of Health Jonathan Ashworth said:
“There are 107,000 vacancies across the NHS, A&E Departments are closing overnight, chemotherapy units are at risk and maternity units are turning away pregnant women and yet the Health Education England training budget is the lowest it’s been for five years and is set to be cut even further next year.
“Does the Secretary of State agree that for his imminent NHS Long Term Plan to be credible, it needs to reverse these training cuts and deliver the staff our NHS needs?”
The Secretary of State falsely tweeted that there was an additional 1,000 GPs across the NHS in England, the tweet was later deleted.
According to the latest workforce figures, GP numbers have fallen by nearly 600 over the past year and district nurse numbers have fallen by 43% since May 2010.