Student Nurses Funding

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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
3 December 2015

This Conference condemns the decision by the UK Tory Government to require fees for nursing and midwifery courses to be paid for from 2017 by loans rather than the current bursary system.

This callous decision will drive more and more of those people who want to care for the vulnerable in our society into poverty and burden them with debt of upwards of £50,000. Over half of all nursing and midwifery students already have child and other caring responsibilities and this callous decision will mean that many will no longer be able to have a future in the profession. Student nurses and midwifes already spend more than half of their training providing direct clinical care for no pay, now they will be required to pay in order to provide such care. This decision will result in the nurses and midwifes of the future being saddled with levels of debt that will follow them throughout their lives. It will also mean that large numbers of working-class people will simply not be able to pursue such a career.

This Conference believes this decision is part of an on-going plan by a Tory Government to reduce the ability of the NHS to provide high quality care in order to make it more attractive to privatise.

Conference welcomes the decision by the Scottish Government to maintain free tuition for Scottish students in Scottish Universities but notes with caution a planned review into funding packages available to nursing and midwifery students.

This Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to campaign vigorously not only to maintain free tuition for all undergraduate nursing and midwifery students throughout the United Kingdom but also to push for bursaries to be replaced with a wage.