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NHS plans to train thousands of extra doctors and nurses by 2020

THE NHS is set for the ‘biggest ever’ expansion to medical staff in England, ministers said.

An extra 1,500 doctors a year are to be trained by 2020 — boosting the current number by 25 per cent.

Additionally, 10,000 more training places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will be made available. Some places could be on offer as soon as next month, the Department of Health said.

The extra positions will be targeted at under-represented social groups such as lower income students.

But shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘This is effectively a re-announcement from Tory health ministers with no commitment to much needed significant new investment.’

Moves to increase the training programme were announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt last October to help ensure the health service is equipped to care for a growing and ageing population.

Doctors’ union the BMA said the move was reassuring but warned of an immediate shortage of doctors. It is hoped the extra staff will address shortages among GPs and psychiatrists.