Help us secure the future of the NHS

Help us secure the future of the NHS

When you fall ill, you will want the best treatment for yourself and your loved ones. Having that treatment depends on having an NHS that is well resourced.

The most important resource for the NHS is its staff – nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

But the government has scrapped NHS bursaries in England for these student healthcare professionals and replaced them with tuition fees and loans from August 2017.

Since the change, UCAS has revealed a 23% reduction in applications in England for nursing courses beginning in 2017.

The fear of debt has deterred many from becoming a nurse. Fewer nurses will lead to an even greater crisis in health care provision and will put patient safety at risk.

UNISON is calling on the government to reconsider the removal of bursaries for student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals and defer its implementation whilst proper consultation on the best way to fund healthcare students, and pilots of different options are undertaken.

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National NHS bursary constituency lobby day

21 October 2016 1:00am

UK wide

#BursaryorBust march to save NHS bursaries

4 June 2016 2:00pm

St Thomas's Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom

Save the NHS bursary: week of action

8 – 12 February 2016

All across the UK

Rally to protect the NHS bursary – Newcastle

9 January 2016 1:00pm–12:00am

Grey's Monument, Newcastle

Save NHS bursary march – London

9 January 2016 12:00pm–3:00pm

St Thomas' hospital, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7EH


The government needs to address the impact of scrapping the nursing bursary

Responding to the government’s announcement today (Tuesday) that it will increase the number of training places for nurses, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “It’s about time the government addressed the impact of their decision to scrap the nursing bursary. Young people have been put off training to become nurses because of this shortsighted policy. “UNISON […]

Fighting for the right to nurse

Emily Heron’s dream to become a nurse is being thwarted by the government’s decision to scrap the NHS bursary

General election 2017: The NHS

With the election upon us, UNISON considers its five key demands for the NHS – and how the main parties measure up in their manifestos

‘The fight’s not over’ in campaign to save NHS bursaries

UNISON health delegates hear moving proof of the value of the bursary for student nurses

Government to press on with decision to land student nurses with debts of more than £50,000

Responding to the announcement today (Thursday) that the government is to plough ahead with scrapping nursing bursaries and replacing them with loans and fees, UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “It was clear from the start that this consultation was a sham. Ministers have simply not listened. They seem not to care that in […]

The issue

The NHS bursary for nurses is a small amount of money originally set up as an acknowledgement that nurses have to work for the NHS for half the time they are studying. They work up to 40 hours a week between placements and study, which makes it hard for them to have a part time job, unlike many other students.

Without the bursary nurses will qualify with up to £51,600 debt

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