Up to £357m was siphoned from training budgets in 2006–2007 by SHAs, according to figures released last week.
It is the second year in a row that multi-professional training budgets have been raided to help the NHS meet financial targets. During 2005–2006 training budgets were slashed by £135m.
Paul Turner, executive officer for the Council of Deans of Health, said: ‘It’s dreadful but not far off what was predicted. As far as 2007–2008 is concerned, it looks as if SHAs are continuing to raid education budgets but we will not know the outcome until next year.’
The Department of Health predicted last week that the NHS would have accrued a surplus of £1.8bn by the end of 2007–2008.