The Department of Health and Health Education England have refused to say how much Jeremy Hunt’s scheme to train more graduates as NHS managers will cost, or how it will be funded.

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt

Earlier today, NHS England told HSJ that it would be funded in 2017-18 by “£1m from the General Practice Forward View transformation fund”.

However, after publication, NHS England contacted HSJ and said this was not the case. A spokeswoman said: “All money identified for GPFV schemes will be spent on GPs and primary care and none whatsoever is being diverted to other schemes, such as the health secretary’s announced expansion of the management training scheme.”

The health secretary yesterday announced a major expansion of NHS graduate management scheme places - from a current 100, to 200 in 2018, followed by phased increases each year. The Department of Health told HSJ they were intended to reach “up to 1,000 places by 2020 subject to funding”. Funding those numbers of graduates is expected to come with a significant cost.

However, the Department of Health, Health Education England and NHS England have declined to say how much is planned to be spent on the scheme in any year, or how it will be funded.

The DH said only that it would be from “existing Health Education England budgets”. The DH and HEE have refused to say from which budgets. HEE’s overall allocation is due to be severely constrained until 2020-21.

The health secretary also announced a separate £1m scheme yesterday which aims to reduce the number of GPs who leave the profession early. NHS England said it was this which would be funded by the GPFV transformation fund.

This story was updated at 1.45pm to reflect NHS England stating it had earlier given HSJ incorrect information