Minister announces training places

Date published: 08 May 2024

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced that health service education and training places for this year will be maintained at the same level as 2023/24.

Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background
Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background

The Minister said he had hoped to announce an overall increase in places, but intensifying budgetary pressures have made that unachievable.

The level of pre-registration education places will be the same as last year in each of the following areas: Nursing and Midwifery – 1,025, Allied Health Professionals (AHP) – 335 and Social Work – 285.   

The Minister said:

“Significant progress has been made in recent years to increase our workforce and I had hoped to be announcing further increases to training places today to underpin the ongoing transformation of the HSC but, unfortunately, that is not the case.

 “I have warned that the budgetary position for health would impact heavily on key areas, including training. This is the first confirmation of that highly regrettable reality.

 “I will continue to strongly make the case for greater funding for health and social care and can confirm I will be seeking Executive transformation monies and cross-departmental support for investment in training.

The Minister continued:

“My Department’s focus on workforce development over a number of years has made a difference - supporting a 15.7% increase in whole time equivalent staff in post across the HSC in Northern Ireland between March 2018 and December 2023. Continuing on this trajectory must remain a priority.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Health committed to and was able to deliver an extra 900 nursing and midwifery undergraduate places over the period 2020-23 under the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
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