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Lib Dems to reinstate bursaries for student nurses

May 16, 2017 12:04 PM

Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress yesterday, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, confirmed that the Party would reinstate student bursaries, which benefit nursing, midwifery and allied health students, with immediate effect.

In 2015, the Conservative Government announced they would be scrapping bursaries for nursing students from August 2017.

UCAS figures show that the number of applications for nursing courses due to start this year were approximately 10,000 lower - down by nearly a quarter - compared to the same point last year. The Liberal Democrats argue that this short-sighted cut will compound the existing shortage of nurses in the NHS, threatening the quality of patient care.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

"The Government's decision to abandon bursaries for nursing students was clearly wrong. The evidence has shown a drastic fall in the number of people applying to study nursing following this dangerously short-sighted cut. We should be supporting more people into these vital professions - but instead this Government are putting up greater barriers.

"The Liberal Democrats are proud that we are committing to support nurses, midwives and other NHS professionals, not only by reinstating the bursary but by ending the cap on public sector pay rises and giving our NHS the extra money it needs over the next Parliament, which will reduce pressures on our hardworking staff."

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Ipswich Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett said:

"From speaking to staff at both the University and the hospital I am concerned that the situation in Ipswich may be even worse than the national figures suggest."

Note:

Almost 10,000 fewer would-be nurses in England have applied for courses linked to the profession - nearly a quarter less than at the same point last year (2 February 2017, Telegraph)

The policy will protect the bursaries of courses in
• Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning and disability)
• Midwifery
• Dietetics
• Occupational therapy
• Orthoptics
• Orthotics and prosthetics
• Physiotherapy
• Podiatry/chiropody
• Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
• Speech and language therapy
• Operating department practitioner

Adrian outside University of Suffolk