Impact of scrapping bursaries must be reviewed, say MPs

Plans to scrap student bursaries must be reviewed to assess their impact on the supply of nursing staff and to see if a “transitional approach” can be applied to those who train as a second degree, a committee of MPs has said.

In a report on the impact of the government’s spending review on health and social care, the Commons’ health select committee noted concerns that the move to a loans system for student nurses and midwives from autumn 2017 would not lead to more being trained, as the government had claimed.

In supplying evidence to the committee, the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives expressed concerns that student debts from the loans system – estimated by the RCM to be around £60,000 – could deter applicants.

The committee report noted this contrasted to claims made by universities, which said the proposals would allow more training places to be created by removing the dependence on annual government funding.

Full story in The Nursing Times 19 July 2016