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Call to keep student nursing places

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A university vice chancellor has attacked plans to cut student nursing places and called on the health secretary to “save the education of the country’s future nurses.”

Professor David Green, vice chancellor and chief executive of the University of Worcester, said a plan to cut trainee nurse places would just mean greater costs for the NHS.

West Midlands Strategic Health Authority has announced the cuts, which will be imposed across West Midlands universities.

Prof Green said places at Worcester would drop 16% from September and called on Andrew Lansley to take action.

“Earlier this year West Midlands Strategic Health Authority reversed a decision to cut 16% of all midwifery training places on the personal order of the Secretary of State Andrew Lansley, following pressure from universities and the Royal College of Midwives,” he said.

“The University of Worcester is hoping that the Secretary of State will again intervene to save the education of the country’s future nurses.”

Prof Green said nursing graduates from Worcester were “snapped up” by hospitals and health trusts, with the most recent figures showing 100% employment rate.

A spokeswoman for NHS West Midlands said: “All SHAs develop long term workforce plans based on detailed projections made by NHS organisations around the level of staffing required to meet future demand of local health services.

“The SHA is currently commissioning training places to provide a workforce in 2014 based on these projections.

“Our workforce plans are not developed in isolation - they are developed with senior hospital clinicians, such as directors of nursing and heads of midwifery, and are scrutinised at a national level.”

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