BDA welcomes announcement of funding for placements, but feels more support is needed

BDA welcomes announcement of funding for placements, but feels more support is needed

10 August 2017

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) welcomed yesterday’s news that the UK Government plans to make an additional £16 million a year available in England for training placements for nurses and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), including dietitians.

However, the Association is keen to understand how the funding will be spent and distributed. The BDA believes that more funding will be needed if the government’s ambition is to be realised. The funding is intended to support the training of “an additional 10,000 training places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by 2020” according to the Department of Health.

As the third biggest part of the healthcare workforce, AHPs bring a wide range of specialist skills to health services. The BDA believes dietitians and other AHPs could be used much more widely to support the work of doctors, provide better quality services to patients and save the NHS money.

This announcement comes against the backdrop of the complete removal of all NHS bursaries in England for Allied Health Professionals, Nurses and Midwives, which has been estimated to have saved the government over £1 billion a year. Universities have reported a significant reduction in applications for AHP and Nursing places in 2017/18, the first year when student loans will replace the bursaries.

Siân O’Shea RD, the BDA’s Chairman said, “It is positive that the government has recognised the need to support more placements for Allied Health Professionals, who we know could play a much bigger role in areas such as primary care in order to help the NHS deliver better outcomes for patients.

“However, this is a relatively small sum of money to cover the significant growth in placements needed in a wide range of professions” Ms O’Shea continued. “We will need to see more detail before we can tell if this will be enough to have the necessary impact.”


Notes to the editor:
  • The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9000 members.
  • Visit the BDA website at
  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Non-Government Organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.

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