The multi professional education and training budget forms part of the national health service bundle of budgets issued to strategic health authorities (SHAs) and as such is not ring fenced. It is up to the SHAs to determine how much they spend on education and training and whether underspends should be restored to the following year’s budgets in the light of their own local priorities.
The Department is not taking any steps to ensure that strategic health authorities spend their full budget allocation on nurse training. The role of the Department should be to focus on outputs and accountability rather than on ensuring a fixed amount of money is spent for a particular purpose regardless of local priorities.
We do not allocate funding specifically to nurse training. We therefore cannot provide figures on the level of underspending for the last five years. However figures on the total underspend from the multi-professional education and training (MPET) budget are shown in the following table.
MPET underspend (£ million) 2003-04 58.7 2004-05 86.3 2005-06 135.7 2006-07 357.0 2007-081 99.0 1 Forecast based on quarter three quarterly monitoring returns.
MPET underspend (£ million)
1 Forecast based on quarter three quarterly monitoring returns.