The Department of Health have today ended the consultation on NHS Bursaries and confirmed that they are set to be withdrawn.
Following the consultation on reforms to the education funding for nursing, midwifery and allied health professional (AHP) students, the government has set out its plans withdraw the current bursary model and move towards student loans.
The news, posted on the Department of Health website, sets out it’s clear plan to change from the current funding system and bring student healthcare professionals in line with other students despite the course structures being very different.
There is however an opportunity for additional funding. The government is planning the following action to support nursing, midwifery and AHP students complete their courses and enter the future health workforce:
- support for childcare costs – there will be an additional payment of £1,000 each year for students with child dependents to reflect that students undertaking clinical placements may have higher childcare costs than the wider student population
- travel and dual accommodation – we will provide healthcare students the £303 that they would have to pay upfront as an excess liable for student payment on the student loans system. The government will cover the cost of students who have to pay for secondary accommodation whilst attending clinical placements if the case for educational provision and value for money is demonstrated
- postgraduate students – a bursary for tuition and maintenance will meet the full costs of the course for postgraduate students starting in 2017/18. This will be a transitional arrangement to secure the longer term workforce supply and the intention is for these courses to eventually fit the standard student funding model
- exceptional hardship – we will work with experts such as the RCN to provide bursary payments in cases of exceptional hardship, where students meet eligibility requirements
- dental hygiene and dental therapy – until a long-term funding solution is found for these subjects, the government will fund a capped number of dental hygiene and dental therapy students on the 2017/18 cohort on the same, non-repayable terms as under the current system
- second undergraduate degrees – students who are planning to undertake nursing, midwifery and allied health professional subjects as a second degree will be able to access the standard student support system, on the same terms as students studying for a first degree.
We’ve put together an article listing the MYTHS and TRUTHS around the transition between NHS Student Bursaries and Student Loans.
Health minister Philip Dunne said:
“Currently two thirds of people who apply to university to become a nurse are not offered a place – we are committed to plans which could create up to 10,000 training places for home-grown nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by the end of this parliament, with those in training getting around 25% more financial support while they study.
We’ve listened to feedback from the consultation and as a result will provide extra funding to help cover additional expenses like travel and more support for students with children. We will work with the RCN, hospitals and other partners in taking this forward.”
You can read the full consultation document here.