New research from Labour, undertaken by the House of Commons Library, today reveals that the NHS workforce training budget has plummeted by 4.7% over the past five years.
Heath 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.
Labour’s new analysis also exposes the Government’s blasé attitude to the workforce crisis. 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.
Further cuts are imminent, with day to day spending on the wider health budget set to fall by £1 billion in real terms next year. According to the Health Foundation, this includes cuts to the workforce training budget.
Speaking earlier today in the House of Commons Chamber during Health Questions, Jonathan Ashworth MP demanded cuts to NHS training budgets were reversed in the forthcoming Long Term Plan to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs.
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.
Last week the Secretary of State was reprimanded by the UK Statistics Authority for falsely claiming in a tweet there were an additional 1,000 GPs across the NHS in England. He subsequently deleted the tweet.
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, speaking earlier today in the House of Commons during Health Questions, 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?”