UCAS figures show a drop of 8% in applications to Nursing & Midwifery courses – Universities have turned to clearing to fill gaps.
Experts are warning that there will not be enough new healthcare staff being trained to keep pace with demand as UCAS, the University Admissions Service, figures showed that there had been an 8% drop in students who had been placed into university this year compared to 2016.
Universities have been forced to offer the, usually over-subscribed, Nursing, Midwifery and Medicine subjects to students going through clearing.
The figures also reveal the number of ‘mature students’, people aged over 25, who have been placed into nursing courses has decreased by 12% since 2016.
Despite the low number of applicants the government announced 10,000 extra ‘funded’ places and an additional 21,000 mental health professionals. Figures that the Royal College of Nursing have heavily criticised.
Janet Davis, RCN Chief Executive, said;
“The longstanding pay cap is driving people away from nursing, and understaffing heaps pressure on those who are left. Most worryingly, we don’t have enough nurses to guarantee patient safety,” she argued.
“The government has promised 10,000 more health care professionals in the next five years, but we need transparency over how it intends to monitor its progress.
“We are calling on the government to publish the actual number of nursing students starting this autumn by the end of this year.”
Official figures how that admissions to Nursing and Midwifery courses have consistently fallen since the removal of the NHS Student Bursary which combined with a significant drop in EU workers could lead to a staffing crisis for the NHS.
NHS Digital revealed last month that over 11,500 Nursing and Midwifery vacancies remain unfilled in England.
Morning after pill can now be bought online for £4.99
Online pharmacy Chemist 4 U has revealed they will be selling the morning after pill to women for just £4.99 per pack.
Initially, the online-only pharmacy was praised for making the morning after pill more accessible for women at an affordable price but some have criticised the move.
Women will be able to buy as many as three packs of Levonelle, a generic version of the pill, from the online pharmacy in six months.
Campaigners on reproductive ethics have been quick to condemn the initiative, explaining that the accessibility presents the morning-after pill as regular contraception, when professional advice is to only use it in emergencies.
Shamir Patel, Managing Director of Chemist 4 U, told The Independent;
“We always advise women in an emergency situation, to go to their nearest pharmacy that day, rather than waiting a day to receive it from an online pharmacy.
“However our belief is, an advanced supply from us avoids the panic in the unlikely event of barrier method failure. We advise all patients that EHC should not be used as a regular contraceptive method”.
Other retailers such as Boots and Superdrug have recently drastically reduced the cost of the morning after pill following calls from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
May set to end public sector pay cap
Reports indicate that Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are drawing up plans to remove the public sector pay cap.
Experts say that Theresa May is drawing up plans to end the seven-year cap on public sector pay, which currently restricts annual public sector pay increases to 1 per cent. It is thought mounting from public sector unions and finally contributed towards this change in policy.
Despite voting against the removal of the pay cap earlier this year, several senior ministers, including Boris Johnson Michael Fallon are in reportedly in support of dropping the unpopular policy.
The announcement is expected to take place when Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, sends guidance letters to the pay review bodies, including the NHSPRB, later this month.
Removal of the pay cap for all 5 million public sector employees would cost an estimated £4 billion a year.
A Downing Street spokesperson said;
“We are listening.
“We know that many people in the public and private sector feel they are just about managing.”
Many claim removal of the pay cap will help with staff shortages in certain areas, such as nursing, teaching and the senior civil service.
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