Ministers set out plan to train and keep more NHS staff

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Ministers set out plan to train and keep more NHS staff
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Ministers set out plan to train and keep more NHS staff

More doctors and nurses will be trained and thousands of new roles will be created to work alongside them, as part of a major NHS England workforce plan.

University places for medical students will double, a new apprenticeship scheme for doctors is planned and medical degrees could be shortened.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the delayed workforce plan was “historic” and had taken time to get right.

Critics say poor working conditions in the NHS could undermine the plan.

There are more than 110,000 vacancies in the workforce at present, with one out of every 10 posts unfilled, which creates huge pressure on staff and affects the care patients receive.

The NHS has been beset by strikes this year, and the dispute with doctors is still continuing.

Pay for staff does not feature in the plan – instead, it focuses on increasing training places for medical and nursing students and a new scheme that allows trainee doctors to earn while they learn.

A consultation on whether five-year medical degrees could be shortened by a year will also be launched.

Unveiling full details of the 15-year plan on Friday at Downing Street, Mr Sunak said it would “deliver the biggest ever expansion in the number of doctors and nurses that we train, and a plan to reform the NHS so we deliver better care in a changing world”.

But he said overcoming the challenges of an overstretched workforce “won’t be quick or easy”.

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