First the rant. I receive emails from the Health Service Journal (HSJ) though am not a subscriber to the actual journal (previous journal buying has resulted in piles of them waiting to be read while the direct debit goes out of the bank every month), and periodically I take a look at the news alerts. Today I was drawn to a story about the money that is levied for education and training for everyone who is not a doctor known as the multi profession education and training levy (MPET). This money originally comes from NHS organisations (at source like income tax) and is given to the Health Authorities to be allocated for education purposes. It is this money that goes to pay for the tuition fees and bursaries of student nurses and also to help pay for education for those of us who are healthcare professionals (in the broadest sense, a professional but not a doctor or dentist). Last year there was practically no money, and considering the fact that the current NHS agenda is about service redesign and reconfiguration that is a situation that cannot continue.
The HSJ reports today that some strategic health authorities are planning to divert up to 11.8% of the budget to what is described as ‘strategic resources’. Surprise surprise, the health authority within which I live and work is one of them.
“NHS East of England director of workforce Stephen Welfare said: ‘We have managed to transfer some funds from the MPET budget to front-line patient care services across the region, while ensuring that the number of people who will have access to education and training remains unchanged from last year. Patients and clinicians in our hospitals will welcome this efficient use of resources.”
My response: Last year we saw practically no money so it is no reassurance that levels are the same for this year, secondly, we have had frozen posts and cuts to services so I wonder how happy our patients and clinicians really are!
On a happier note, I am thrilled to report that my dissertation is FINISHED!!! I have been to the book shop and bought a novel (well 3), and I intend to read and drink wine tonight – so there!