The largest funder of student nursing places in England has been asked to review its plans for nursing commissions after concerns from hospital trusts.
NHS London, which allocates the training budget for nursing places in the capital, last year ran a tendering exercise across the nine higher education institutions (HEIs) in the capital that saw the University of West London dropped from the list.
The move coincided with the SHA announcing it wanted to cut the number studying adult nursing each year from 2,000 to 1,580.
The strategic health authority is now looking again at its numbers following complaints from hospital trusts in the capital that the number of commissions was insufficient.
A spokesman for NHS London said: “The terms of the review will not be known until later in May when each Local Education and Training Board is expected to bring their recommendations back to NHS London. This is being led by directors of nursing.
“This follows concerns from some directors of nursing in London that the workforce projections submitted by their own trusts did not take account of specific local circumstances when aggregated. This review will promote further ownership of the projections by trusts and professional leads and allow plans to inform future LETB levels.”
In January the SHA’s director of people and organisational development Anne Rainsberry said: “If we continue to train the same number of adult nurses as we currently do, there will soon be more trained nurses than there are jobs available.”
In September last year NHS London said the reduction was prompted by quality fears, but its official announcement of the tendering plans did not mention the budget cuts, contained in a document obtained by Nursing Times.
This showed that as long ago as June 2011 NHS London had anticipated a reduction in its non-medical training budget of 15% “over the next three to four years”.
HEIs have told Nursing Times that the tendering process is “overly bureaucratic”.