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Nurse training cuts slammed by RCN

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The Scottish Government has been criticised by a the RCN for its proposed cuts to the nursing training budget.

The Royal College of Nursing told MSPs on Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee that the £6 million ‘cut’ in education spending would leave the profession facing ‘grave problems.’

Concerns were also raised by Theresa Fyffe, director of the organisation, about claims that this year’s budget is around £11 million less than anticipated in last year’s budget.

The plans have been outlined in the draft budget for next year but the Scottish Government has rejected the accusations.

SNP MSP Michael Matheson challenged Ms Fyffe to show them where money from a fixed health budget would be cut to boost training.

She said: “Obviously I’m going to say education and training has got to be reprioritised because if we continue down that line to save £11 million, we’re actually going to end up I believe with a problem that will be grave for us to handle.”

She said the budget’s ‘miscellaneous’ allocation had increased without making clear what the money was for.

Ms Fyffe added: “Education and training cannot sustain those type of cuts - we will not have the workforce that we want for the future.

“We’re in the process of working through the student numbers and yet we’ve come out with budget cuts.

“The meeting’s only next week when we’re supposed to agree the numbers based on workforce needs.”

She said “short-term” measures now will leave “major issues” for the future.

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