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05.08.16

‘No clear evidence’ that removing bursaries will lead to increase in nurses

The NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) nursing forum has said it opposes the Department of Health’s decision to abolish bursaries for student nurses and other healthcare professionals.

In its evidence to a consultation on the proposals, the forum said its members “strongly opposed” abolishing bursaries.

Nevertheless, the government confirmed last month that it will go ahead with the proposals, saying they were needed to abolish the cap on course places and stop the shortage of nurses.

In a statement, the nurses forum said: “As commissioners it is vital that there is a suitable workforce available to meet capacity demands within the system, and that it should be sufficiently flexible to deliver the transformation of health and care services as required by the Five Year Forward View.

“Our members suggested that there was no clear evidence that the removal of the scheme would result in an increase in the nursing workforce, and that there would be a significant impact on community and district nursing as courses for these roles would no longer be funded.

“It is disappointing that despite the continued government commitment to shifting care out of hospitals the reality of proposed policies has not supported this.”

It also said that the reforms, which will require student nurses to take out loans to finance their studies, will put mature students and students from low income or ethnic minority backgrounds “at a disadvantage.”

Toby Watt, a finance analyst at the Health Foundation, said this week that the government must establish a support plan in case the reforms lead to a fall in student nurses.

(Image c. Anthony Devlin from PA Archive and Press Association Images)

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Comments

Brendan Mcgrath   08/08/2016 at 13:08

This story needs editing - it repeats some bits three times.

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