Plans to procure more district nursing courses to start this September have been paused because of the merger of Health Education England into NHS England, HSJ understands.
An email sent last month from a commissioning officer at NHSE’s workforce, training and education directorate – the new HEE – said procurement of new district nursing courses from universities would be paused “until further notice”, due to the “ongoing merger”.
Since 2009, the number of district nurses working in the English NHS has fallen drastically, from around 7,000 to around 3,900.
Steph Lawrence, executive director of nursing and allied health professionals at Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, said the decision to pause the expansion of courses was a “huge concern” as numbers of district nurses need to grow “at a much faster rate”.
“This is a major safety issue for safe and effective care in the community if we don’t have the appropriate numbers of nurses trained. We may also lose nurses as well who want to progress and expand their knowledge,” Ms Lawrence said.
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Source: HSJ, 5 June 2023