Adult nurse training to be cut by over 20% in London

17 January 2012 | last updated: 14 March 2019

UCU today warned that patient care in London could be put at risk after NHS London announced that it would be reducing the number of adult nurse training places at universities in the capital by over 20% from next autumn.

The news follows a lengthy re-tendering process and will see the University of West London (UWL) stripped of its contract to provide adult nursing training as the number of places in the capital is cut by over 400 from 2,000 to 1,580.
 
The union described the decision as extremely short-sighted and pointed to the fact that London's elderly population is predicted to grow by 34% over the next 20 years.*
 
UCU said that UWL (formerly Thames Valley University) has a great track record of training adult nurses and warned that years of expertise would be lost.

'Where will the nursing education expertise come from in the future if it runs down adult nurse education provision in this way?'
 

The union said the current process of re-tendering contracts every three years had led to a 'stop-start' delivery of nursing provision that prevented institutions from planning for the future. Under the current arrangements the number of places given to contractors is also subject to annual review.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Today's announcement is incredibly worrying for patient care across the capital as London's capacity to train students for adult nursing is cut back. These short-sighted plans make little sense, especially when the elderly population is expected to rise by 34% over the next 20 years.
 
'NHS London should seriously ask itself what will happen 10 or 15 years down the line when the need to increase places arises. Where will the nursing education expertise come from in the future if it runs down adult nurse education provision in this way?
 
'UWL has a great track record of providing training and should be central to developing the next generation of staff in the field of adult nursing. The current process of re-tendering needs to be urgently looked at as it prevents institutions from planning for the future and creates a stop-start culture when it comes to delivering the provision of nurse training.'

Notes
*Source: Greater London Authority, Focus on London: Population and Migration, page 24

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