Every nurse and midwife to receive £1,000 to spend on CPD training

Every nurse and midwife are to be given £1,000 to spend on professional development training, which is to be announced tomorrow. This is part of the government commitment to improve patient care and create a more sustainable NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

If you are planning your CPD Training for this year, make sure you visit our website to see what we have on offer near you.

Workforce Retention

In the last financial year (18/19), over 27,000 nurses and midwives from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK left the register [1]. The number of those leaving from the EEA has doubled since 2014/15.

The NMC asked nurses and midwives who left the register over a six-month period the reasons why – more than one-third cited too much pressure leading to stress and/or poor mental health as the main reason they left. 20% of UK-registered nurses and midwives stated that they were “disillusioned by the quality of care being provided to patients”. [1]

If non-retirement attrition from the NHS in England were to be reduced by a sixth, it would amount to an additional 750-800 whole time equivalent midwives being available to the NHS by 2021 [2].

The NHS’s Five Year Forward View (FYFV) states that employers must ensure that they have sufficient staff with the right skills to provide safe and personalised care [2].

Just training new midwives and nurses will not be enough to meet current imbalances between demand and forecast supply; more must be done to improve the sustainability of maternity services [2]. Health Education England (HEE) has stated that this will depend on interventions like speciality training for obstetrics and gynaecology and supporting employers to upskill and develop their workforces to work with the Better Births care model [2].

Another intervention focusing on this programme of work is HEE’s RePAIR (Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Improving Retention) project, which identifies interventions to reduce avoidable attrition from nursing and midwifery training programmes.

Closing the Inequality Gap in Training Spend: Insight from Mind the Gap

With attrition rates being associated with pressure felt by professionals and the perceived quality of care, every attempt must be made to improve professional confidence and satisfaction through CPD training. Baby Lifeline’s Mind the Gap 2018 report found that training is still not being standardised, widely assessed, and generally prioritised across the UK.

Midwife CPD Training

In the financial year 2017/18, almost half of trusts (42%) outlined to Baby Lifeline as part of the Mind the Gap report, that they did not provide an individual budget for midwives to access. In addition, most of the funding for maternity training in general was sourced from Health Education England (HEE) rather than allocated by the trust [3]. Therefore, this demonstrated that on-going professional development training budgets are not being prioritised or funded without external government-supported boosts.

The new individual budget for nurses and midwives will also enable more equality between trust professionals in terms of access to training. For example, the average amount spent on maternity training in 2017/18 differed from £1,052 in one trust to £372,878 in another [3].

“We do not have individual training budgets for specific services…” (Mind the Gap, 2018)

“There is no in-house funding or budget for fee-paying conference attendance” (Mind the Gap, 2018)

Professionals highlighted in the Mind the Gap 2018 report that the biggest barriers to attending and providing training were finance and staffing related [3].

Highlighting Unmet Need

Following the extremely welcome Maternity Safety Training Fund in 2017/18, demand for Baby Lifeline’s training increased by over 300% and in some cases over 1500% for certain courses; such as Childbirth Emergencies in the Community.  This illustrates an unmet need in terms of specified, speciality training for NHS professionals in maternity. This new fund will improve access to this training, and improve safety for mum and baby.


Every nurse and midwife will be given £1,000 to spend on professional development training as part of a new initiative to improve patient care and create a more sustainable NHS. Research has shown that retention in maternity needs to improve in order to enable safer staffing levels and enable safer maternity care. As part of this, HEE has launched multiple schemes to improve professional development training.

Baby Lifeline’s research – Mind the Gap 2018 – has shown that specialised professional development training is not being prioritised or standardised across the UK, and that funding access differs enormously from trust to trust, with nearly half not setting aside an individualised budget for midwives. This new individual funding will improve standardisation and improve access to training for midwives across the UK.


  1. Nursing and Midwifery Council (2019). The NMC register. Accessed at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/other-publications/nmc-register-data-march-19.pdf
  2. Health Education England (2019). Maternity Workforce Strategy – Transforming the Maternity Workforce. Accessed at: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/document/MWS_Report_Web.pdf
  3. Baby Lifeline: Ledger, S; Hindle, G; Smith, T. Mind the Gap: An Investigation into Maternity Training for Frontline Professionals Across the UK (2017/18). Baby Lifeline: West Midlands.
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