West Yorkshire NHS services to receive funding boost

The government has announced that local NHS services in West Yorkshire will receive £1.3 billion investment to train and upskill people for jobs in the health and social care sector.

It will fund a variety of courses aimed at introducing people to health and social care roles, with pathways for progression into jobs in hospitals, hospices, and other healthcare settings.

They hope this will help upskill people already working in the healthcare sector, such as nurses who want to progress from hospitals to GP settings, as well as more general advanced skills courses, to help people secure better-paid roles in the region.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Our NHS is in crisis, but here in West Yorkshire, our devolved powers over skills training are allowing us to step in to support our stressed and strained frontline services."

However, she warned the government that this funding is a “sticking plaster over the gaping wound” of the NHS recruitment and retention crisis, and ministers must provide sustainable funding for the NHS to train the number of frontline staff it needs to support patients.

The funding has been allocated by regional leaders from the so-called “Gainshare” – the discretionary £38 million per year fund devolved to West Yorkshire as part of its devolution deal.

This flexible approach to funding has brought decision-making closer to where people live, with this new investment in healthcare training a direct response to local labour market data, which shows that there were more than 3,300 job postings for health and social care roles in February 2024 alone.

Data also shows that the NHS staffing crisis is felt more severely in Yorkshire and the Humber than elsewhere in the country, with 9.2 per cent of NHS roles vacant in the year 2022-2023, compared to the average rate of 3.4 per cent across the UK.

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