The government has set aside £4.3bn in funding for the training and development of the NHS workforce.
The Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills announced the arrangements for the management of the training budgets by strategic health authorities. The new figure represents an increase of 3.6% over 2006-07 and excludes student grants.
Health authorities will work with higher education institutions on investment planning based on long-term workforce needs already agreed with the Department of Health.
Health minister Lord Hunt, said: “This agreement represents a significant commitment to the training of our next generation of healthcare professionals. It is important that the NHS has the freedom to manage training so that workforce development reflects the healthcare needs of the local population.
“We now have an agreement that links funding of training much more closely to workforce planning needs and gives greater long-term security to universities. We expect future changes in training commissions to be based on an assessment of services required by patients.”
Bill Rammell, minister for further and higher education said: “We now have an agreement where the health authorities and higher education institutions can work together to plan and provide high-quality healthcare education for the NHS of the future.”