Following the government’s confirmation that it plans to restore bursaries for student nurses, Eva Crossan Jory, NUS Vice President (Welfare) has issued the following statement:’NUS and many healthcare unions warned repeatedly that scrapping the NHS bursary would dent recruitment to these vital courses. The Government has belatedly acknowledged that we were correct by restoring the maintenance element of bursaries, and we are very pleased for the students who will benefit. We think it is right too that additional money is offered to those students with children, given that nursing and midwifery students in particular are more likely to have caring responsibilities.
However, it is still wrong for these students to pay over £9,000 a year for these courses when so much of their time is on placement supporting our NHS, and fees must now be scrapped too. We also need to examine the detail of these proposals to ensure they cover all healthcare professions, and that any additional funding doesn’t simply reduce entitlement to the other forms of support such as social security that some of these students will rely on.
We reiterate the asks to the new government that we made in our recent joint letter alongside fellow representative bodies for healthcare students and urge the government to also address related issues such as access to placement expenses for paramedic science students.’