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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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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