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Minister announces £95m investment to train GP practice support staff

The Welsh Government has announced a £95m investment for training of healthcare professionals that can support GP practices.

Health secretary Vaughan Gething said the funding would ensure places for 3,000 new students in areas such as nursing, physiotherapy and radiography.

The package should help to ‘strengthen primary and community care’, according to GPC Wales.

Plans include a significant increase in practice nurse and district nurse education as well as audiology training places in the community, the Welsh Government said.

The funding also includes 32 additional training places for physician associates from this September.

And £500,000 has been earmarked to support community healthcare through advanced practice, education and extended skills training for primary care clusters.

Mr Gething said: ‘Education and training is fundamental to ensuring the sustainability of our workforce.

‘This £95m investment will ensure that our healthcare professionals are able to provide high quality care now and in the future and that patients will be able to receive care closer to home.’

The additional funding for nursing will allows 13% increase in training places for nursing, on top of the 10% increase in 2016/17 and the 22% increase in the previous year, the Welsh government said.

Dr Charlotte Jones, Wales GPC chair, said: ‘It is heartening to see some immediate plans, as well as more medium and long-term, sustainable solutions, which is what we have been asking for to support GP clusters.’

She added: ‘Primary care is facing unprecedented workload pressures across the system and we look forward to seeing how this resource will be directly available to general practices under strain.’