Health Education England (HEE) has announced a major expansion in its effort to drive up the numbers of clinical placements across the health service.

An additional £15 million will be made available through HEE’s Clinical Placement Expansion Programme (CPEP) to increase clinical placements in the NHS and support growth in Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy and all the other Allied Health Professions. This represents a 50 per cent increase in the funding previously pledged.

The additional investment is targeted to support the expansion across all health professions undergraduate programmes this September. The new funding will has been awarded to hospital trusts, primary care providers and some training hubs across the country.

The funding is broken down as:

  • £8.2 million towards an additional 7,000 nursing and midwifery clinical placements across all regions and
  • £5.8 million towards an additional 3,800 allied health profession placements concentrating on the prioritised areas such as placement education facilitators with a further £1m of that investment focused on sustainable technologies.

Professor Wendy Reid, Interim Chief Executive, Health Education England said: “These young people are the future NHS workforce and we are committed to making sure there are career paths for them all. Providing placement opportunities is a key part of this and we want to provide support for students across all professions.”

The Department of Health and Social Care is also providing additional funding to lift of the cap for medicine and dentistry courses.

Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said: “These additional placements will expand the pipeline of our future workforce, meaning more healthcare professionals across the health and social care system. We will be working directly with Universities, the NHS and other system providers to ensure the placements are provided in those areas of most need across the country.”

In addition, the Department for Education (DfE) are making additional funds available through the Teaching Grant to support increasing capacity. DfE expects the funding to prioritise high-cost subjects such as medicine, dentistry, nursing and other healthcare disciplines as well as laboratory-based courses. The Office for Students will consult with providers about the distribution of this funding shortly.