Shortened Midwifery Training for Registered Nurses FAQs

What is the new offer?

Health Education England (HEE) will provide the following funding offer for two years commencing in January 2022 until April 2024 for up to a combined total of 300 students per year across HEE regions:

What is different to the current offer?

There are regional differences in funding models across England that have been developed in response to the workforce requirements in those areas. Whilst some HEE regions have provided a level of financial support for students on shortened midwifery education programmes in response to meeting training number requirements for several years, other regions have not had the need to do so.

System workforce planning drives commissioning and other factors considered include whether programmes have good retention rates and whether students remain within the profession, trust, or region on completion of programmes. Recognising the need to offer a consistent approach in response to the current staffing and safety concerns within maternity services, HEE undertook a full review of the current shortened midwifery course offer across all regions to better understand and determine how this route can continue to support the training of midwives to meet system requirements.

Why did we need to change?

The shortened midwifery programme is a key component of the response to the current workforce challenges. This response includes the HEE Midwifery Training Expansion programme. Two widely publicised reports into safety issues within maternity services, the Ockenden report and the report of the Health and Care Select Committee Inquiry into Maternity Safety led, in April 2021, to NHS England/Improvement securing funding to enable an increase in the number of midwifery posts (establishments) across England of an additional 1,200, hence the current requirement to fill an increased number of vacancies.

The shortened programme allows us to facilitate a faster supply of trained midwives with nursing qualifications into the workforce. Shortened midwifery programme places are sought from HEE regional commissioning teams by provider trusts and this is what drives demand. Demand from the system to expedite this supply line has grown in response to the current issues outlined, not only to support faster supply into the system but also recognising the increasing need for joint nursing/midwifery skills to support the increasing complexity and acuity of the women using maternity services.

Who is eligible?

This funding will be available to support students who start courses from January 2022 up to April 2024. If you apply during this time you will receive funding for the duration of your course. 

If I am eligible, can I still access the Learning Support Fund?

Students eligible for this funding offer will not be able to access the Learning Support Fund (LSF).

Further information on eligibility requirements for the Learning Support Fund are available on the NHS Business Services Authority website. However, students are entitled to seek support, if eligible, from the Student Loans Company for a maintenance loan.

How long will this be available?

The current offer will be available for cohorts from January 2022 to April 2024 for the duration of the course. 

How will it inform future decision-making regarding funding?

This will be a test of concept that will be reviewed and evaluated to identify whether the current demand from service continues and provides value for money to the taxpayer. We will be looking at:

Who do I contact for further information?

If you would like further information and are based in the Midlands then please contact:

For other regions, please contact