NHS to miss out on recruiting hundreds of nurses if BTecs are scrapped

The NHS will skip out on recruiting hundreds of nurses each yr as a immediate end result of the government scrapping BTec programs in well being and social care, medical center bosses have warned.

NHS Businesses wrote in a letter to the education and learning secretary, James Cleverly, that it experienced “serious concerns” about the system, which it fears will exacerbate the overall health service’s acute staffing difficulties.

BTecs are very long-proven skills that aid youthful individuals get jobs as assistance employees in nursing, midwifery or allied overall health professions. Some of them later teach to be a thoroughly qualified nurse, midwife, radiographer or occupational therapist.

NHS Employers is specially fearful that abolishing BTECs in 2024 and 2025, as aspect of a go to new T-level skills in a shake-up of write-up-16 education and learning, will problems the NHS in England’s endeavours to recruit more than enough nurses to assist fill the just about 40,000 vacancies it has for them.

Danny Mortimer, the organisation’s chief government, instructed Cleverly in its letter that about a fifth of those learning for a nursing diploma had done a health and fitness and social care BTec. In 2017, for instance, 7,120 of all those on a nursing study course had presently received that qualification – 20% of the full. That was more than the 5,947 who experienced embarked on a diploma after undertaking A-ranges. “This exhibits that the program delivers an helpful pathway to nurse training for a substantial quantity of men and women,” he claimed.

In different remarks, Mortimer claimed: “Abolishing these critical BTec classes in health and fitness and social treatment is an very shortsighted selection by the government.

“At a time when the NHS is presently extremely limited-staffed and carrying 105,000 vacancies, depriving the wellness assistance of a pipeline of fresh new nursing, midwifery and other health care recruits is equally reckless and ill-recommended and could properly go away the NHS, as perfectly as our colleagues in social care, with quite a few thousand more vacancies in the years forward.”

Extra than 100 NHS organisations from throughout England think ministers “should not be bringing the provision of this program, which nurtures and supports all those with an interest in health and fitness and social treatment, to an conclude at this time”, the letter says.

About 30,000 persons are now undertaking a BTec in health and social treatment, of whom just less than half are studying entire-time.

The Royal School of Nursing urged Cleverly to have an “urgent rethink” of the approach. Its implementation was delayed just after MPs and friends from unique get-togethers as properly as school bosses criticised it.

Dr Nichola Ashby, the RCN’s deputy director for nursing education and learning, study and ethics, stated: “This is nonetheless an additional case in point of the govt earning it harder, not easier, to get into nursing in England. There is a workforce disaster and every would-be nurse is essential for secure patient care.

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“BTec overall health and social care courses … give an possibility for people from small cash flow backgrounds and mature students who could possibly usually be denied it.”

The Department for Education defended changing BTecs with T Stages. “It is vital that qualifications fulfill the desires of employers and assist more people into better skilled, bigger wage work opportunities,” a spokesperson reported.

“Our health and fitness T- stage has been co-designed with businesses, including the NHS, so that students get the capabilities and working experience required to start roles inside of the wellness sector, and to progress on to college and even further examine. We will proceed to fund BTecs and other qualifications in upcoming where by there is a crystal clear want for them so younger folks have obtain to large top quality solutions.”