Campaigning for quality clinical placements

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2018 Health Care Service Group Conference
7 December 2017
Carried as Amended

The abolition of the NHS bursary in England took effect on 1 August 2017. The 2017 Health Conference called on the Health Service Executive Group to “monitor the quality of placements if there are additional training places” among other things.

Conference notes that the finalisation of the funding arrangements for clinical placements in England happened too late in the process. Universities were made aware of the additional funding for placements on 9 August, less than a week before A-level results.

Conference also notes that increasing placements requires careful management due to the need for an adequate number of qualified mentors and a range of learning experiences. Nurses are already under considerable pressure trying to mentor the current levels of students and government plans to increase student nurse places by 5,000 places next year which will increase that pressure. There needs to be sufficient registered nurses to act as mentors.

It is not yet clear whether the quality of placements and the student experience has been affected by the changes introduced earlier this year, more work needs to be done on this.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)Ensure we continue to provide a strong workplace presence for healthcare students.

2)Continue to collect information about the quality of student placements and information on the hardship students experience, including the impact of travel costs when students are on placement.

3)Campaign for high quality placements and encourage activism around supernumerary status for students on placements.

4)Continue to support the work that branches do in supporting healthcare students.