Training for nurses has to be improved in order to ensure more students complete courses, according to research.
Two reports from watchdog organisations reveal that one in six students training to become nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals do not complete their courses and 20 per cent do not take up posts after they have qualified.
The findings are outlined in the Audit Commission’s study Hidden Talents and the National Audit Office’s report to Parliament, Educating and Training the Future Health Professional Workforce for England.
Other shortcomings identified in the reports are that one third of NHS staff have not agreed training needs with their managers in the previous 12 months and that there are glaring inconsistencies in how much is spent on training staff by different NHS trusts.
Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, said, “Educating and training increased numbers of nursing, midwifery and other health professional students is a key way of overcoming the shortage of staff in the NHS.
“The NHS and higher education institutions must continue working together to improve value for money, to ensure more students complete courses, to reduce the constraints on providing practical experience and to invest in new capacity where needed.”