NUS responds to the announcement by the Labour Party on nursing bursaries

Today, John Ashworth MP announced training bursaries would cover all nurses, midwives and allied health professionals and all tuition fees would disappear under their plans.

Eva Crossan Jory, NUS Vice President (Welfare) said: ‘NUS welcomes the proposal from the Labour Party to reintroduce bursaries for nursing students. In recent years, applications to nursing courses have slumped by a quarter since the bursary was scrapped, with mature students and applicants to specialist courses the worst affected. Far from addressing the crisis in NHS recruitment, this change has exacerbated it.

‘Those who do persevere still struggle with daily living costs, particularly those with children who receive less cash support than under the old arrangements as they receive less though social security. And it is appalling that healthcare students in effect pay to work, spending long hours on placement in our chronically understaffed NHS.

‘We want to see all healthcare students receive the funding they deserve, and desperately need. Restoring bursaries would be an important step. The amount pledged must be sufficient to tackle the severe recruitment and student welfare issues we face. While we will be analysing the manifesto commitment closely, we call on all parties to adopt this policy.’