• Minister of state for care announces “golden hellos” for district nursing worth up to £10,000
  • As part of plans to increase staff numbers, government has also begun work on apprenticeship scheme for district nursing, the minister said

The government will offer “golden hellos” to nurses who want to train as a district nurse in an attempt to boost workforce numbers, the minister for care has announced. 

MP Caroline Dinenage, minister of state for care at the Department of Health and Social Care, announced yesterday the government will offer “golden hellos” worth up to £10,000 to postgraduate nurses who want to train as a district nurse.

The minister also revealed the government has begun work on an apprenticeship scheme to fund district nursing qualifications. 

The news comes after a 10 per cent year on year drop in those qualifying as district nurses in 2017. There is also uncertainty over the status of continued state funding by Health Education England for the specialist practitioner district nursing qualification. The arms length body was due to cut funding for the course this year. 

Speaking yesterday at the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s annual conference, Ms Dinenage said: “I’m very glad to be announcing that we will be supporting eligible post-graduate students who want to go on to train as a district nurse with a golden hello… up to £10,000.

“I recognise though that a full one-year programme to qualify as a district nurse isn’t for everybody especially those who are already working or who are studying or who are occupied with caring responsibilities. That’s why I’m really excited that we’ve also begun work on a more flexible apprenticeship route to allow more nurses to train to become district nurses.”

The care minister also said there was a “giant data gap” on NHS community health services supplied by independent healthcare providers, a gap “that is currently being filled by guess work, assumptions and conjecture”. 

She added “this is [the] kind of ambiguity which leads to massively misleading figures.”