Attrition rates of up to 92% on some courses have prompted NHS London, the capital’s strategic health authority, to publish details of attrition rates and around 30 other quality indicators on its website from the end of this month.
These will then be converted into a traffic light rating, with green given to top-performing courses, amber to those that need to improve and red to those considered to be failing.
‘Red’ courses could have their contracts terminated and the money ploughed into training for community nurses in line with junior health minister Lord Darzi’s plans for London.
Steve Gladwin, spokesperson for the SHA, said that on one course just 8% of a cohort of nursing students completed their studies.
‘This must be costing millions. If this was the police and only eight out of 100 were making it to the end of the course, it would be considered to be absolutely scandalous,’ he said.
‘There is a huge variation in quality of course provision,’ said Trish Morris-Thompson, the SHA’s chief nurse. ‘The new regime will make them accountable. If they can’t demonstrate improvement then we will remove the contract,’ she told NT.
The scheme, which is being drawn up by NHS London and management consultancy Deloitte, could be operative by December.
But Paul Turner, executive officer for the Council of Deans of Health, said: ‘None of the objective quality assurance evidence shows that there is any significant variation in quality of the programmes. The council is aware that these discussions have been taking place and we await the final outcome with interest.’
As revealed by NT, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust said in February that it would cease to provide Thames Valley University with nursing student places, because they were not being given sufficient educational support.