Some of our student nurses, midwives and other health professionals have been marching outside Whitehall and Downing Street in protest against the government’s plan to scrap bursaries for nursing and midwifery students from 2017.
The plan will see the bursary replaced by loans to cover tuition fees and maintenance costs. The argument is that this will allow the cap on student numbers of be lifted, creating up to 10,000 extra training places.
We reviewed the #NTtwitchat to gauge the atmosphere. Clearly, many are worried that this change will block many students from entering the profession due to lack of funds of mounting debt. Others felt that this may actually refine our recruitment strategies, as many students tend to drop out early having been initially lured by a bursary to train.
The key campaigners are @KCLNMS (the King's College London society for student nurses and midwives) - They are certainly leading a strong movement. We salute you!
The petition against the reforms has attracted more than 150,000 signatures.
- Date set for parliamentary debate on student bursaries
- Keep bursary petition passes target needed for MP debate
However, MP's have said that bursary removal risks NHS recruitment 'disaster'.
We support all of our students, whatever side of the argument they find themselves on. Clearly a full consultation is needed for any change to become a safe and sustainable reality.
We need to look after our nurses, midwives and doctors and recruit the best. Lets look to start a new conversation which promotes the best outcome for all.