Training budgets raided to ease NHS deficits

Medical education and training are increasingly under threat from financial instability elsewhere in the NHS, the BMA has warned.

The association is concerned that strategic health authorities are taking money from budgets previously set aside for education and training in order to meet deficits, with potential consequences for patient care. 

Targets for the cuts include funding for junior doctors’ study leave and academic posts in medical schools.

In a letter to health secretary Patricia Hewitt, chairman of the the BMA’s junior doctors committee Dr Jo Hilborne called on funding to be restored.

She said: ‘Cutting education and training as a quick fix to the financial problems facing the NHS is both demoralising to staff and extremely risky.   If doctors cannot go on courses essential to their training there could be consequences for patient care – not just in the future but right now.’

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