SNP MSP for Glasgow and deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament Health & Sport committee, Bob Doris congratulates the nearly 200 former nurses and midwives who are expected to return to practice this year. The number is almost double the Scottish Government’s initial target, making the programme a resounding success.
Over 40 participants have already completed Return to Practice programmes in 2015, allowing them to retrain and re-enter the nursing and midwifery workforce.
On Monday, 7 December, the Public Health Minister saw the programme in action in NHS Grampian, where students are paid a salary during their clinical placement hours and guaranteed a job on completion.
Bob Doris said: “I’m delighted to see the work underway to retrain former nurses and midwives under our national Return to Practice scheme. With over 2,300 more nurses in the NHS since the SNP came to power, this initiative means we are building on that success.
“Earlier this year the Scottish Government announced investment of £450,000 over three years to encourage former nurses and midwives back into the profession. This will enable around 75 former nurse and midwives to retrain each year and re-enter employment.
“There has already been significant interest in the scheme at Glasgow Caledonian University and across Scotland. Our Return to Practice participants will bring a wealth of previous experience with them and will be an asset to our health and social care workforce.
“In addition we have funded an increase in the number of nurses and midwives in training again this year by a further three per cent, on top of the six per cent increase the Scottish Government announced last year. This is the kind of careful long term planning and investment our NHS needs and shows our commitment to increasing the numbers of qualified nurses and midwives in our hospitals now as well as planning for the future.”
• Return to Practice is a Scottish Government funded scheme (£450,000 additional funding over three years, commencing April 2015), administered by NHS Education for Scotland. It is intended to attract experienced nurses and midwives who have left the service back into the profession, enabling them to retrain and to re-enter employment.
• Each year, up to 100 former midwives and nurses will be able to apply to have their university programme fees fully paid (£1,500)
• Initial cohorts of Return to Practice students started in summer 2015 and over 40 registrants have already completed RtP programmes this year.
• The Scottish Government set a target of at least 75 funded RtP places in 2015/16, but it is anticipated that nearly 200 former registrants will take up the opportunity this year. The extra places in 2015/16 will be fully funded.
• Participation in the national RtP programme is one aspect of NHS Grampian’s wider strategy to ensure a sustainable nursing and midwifery workforce.