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25.11.15

Government confirms funding reform for nurse education

The chancellor has confirmed that funding for nursing education in the future will be through a system of loans, rather than bursaries. 

In his Spending Review speech, George Osborne said that today there is a cap on student nurses with over half of all applicants turned away – leaving hospitals relying on agencies and overseas staff. 

“So we’ll replace direct funding with loans for new students – so we can abolish this self-defeating cap and create up to 10,000 new training places in this Parliament,” he said. 

The Spending Review document stated that reforms will replace grants with student loans and abolishing the cap on the number of student places for nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects. 

It was suggested that the move to loans will mean access to 25% more financial support for health students during their studies. 

But the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has criticised the decision. 

Jon Skewes, director for policy, employment relations and communications at RCM, said: “Today’s announcement is extremely worrying. There has been no consultation on the proposed changes and therefore no opportunity to highlight the huge and negative impact that this will have on midwifery student numbers. 

“The cuts are likely to deter many potential students from entering the profession which is not good news for the future of midwifery in the UK. Cutting public funding to train frontline staff in an already struggling and understaffed maternity service just doesn’t make sense.”

Comments

Qingli Maynard   25/11/2015 at 17:59

This will cause nobody wants to study nursing

Carol Williams   30/12/2015 at 15:18

This suggests that the Government does not understand nurse education. Whilst other university students have long holidays and can earn money to support themselves whilst studying, nurses are working on the wards, learning the practical skills required to look after sick children and adults. As a nurse of 36 years, I will not be encouraging my daughter to enter the profession. I do not want her to start working life with a debt in excess of 40K, by the time university fees and living expenses have been accrued. I cannot see how this will increase nursing numbers, unless the government has not announced an associated significant pay increase to repay the debt once qualified. I know the government needs to make savings, but this is not the answer - I can see the agency and oversees recruitment bills going up & up.

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