- Subject:Re: Please support the call to halt NHS bursary cuts
- Date:Tuesday, August 09, 2016 19:30
Dear Mr Paul Scully MP (Sutton & Cheam)
Thank you for your reply regarding saving NHS Nursing and Midwifery Bursaries – over four weeks since my initial request, and three weeks after your unelected Prime Minister – Teresa May – confirmed their scrapping.
We will continue to campaign against this latest wave of ideologically-led, rightwing Tory-cuts, which are inflicting so much suffering on the ordinary people of Britain, and which will be reversed when Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is elected Prime Minister.
Finally, as we, the people of Sutton pay your wages as an elected MP (through taxation), it might be prudent to answer letters and emails a little quicker than four weeks later.
Dear Adrian,Thank you for contacting me about changes to the health education system. I apologise for the delay in responding to your email.I believe that nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (AHPs) are vital to our valued NHS and so everybody with the qualifications and commitment to undertake these degrees should have the chance to do so. The current system prevents this as the cost of training nurses, midwives and AHPs is largely borne by the NHS. In effect there has been an artificial cap on the numbers in training, limited to only those numbers needed as a minimum to meet NHS workforce requirements in line with Health Education England’s annual workforce plan.These limits currently prevent two in every three people who want to be a nurse from doing so. The Government is committed to increasing the number of training places for home-grown nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, with those in training getting around 25 per cent more financial support while they study. This is a huge advantage to the NHS, which has had to rely on expensive agency nurses and staff from overseas in order to compensate for a lack of UK-trained professionals.In order to deliver more nurses and health professionals for the NHS, a better funding system for health students and a more sustainable model for universities, it is necessary to move health students’ grants and bursaries onto the standard student support system – in line with all other degrees. This will not affect existing students. This change will be introduced for new students only from August 2017.The Government recognises that nursing students in particular often have unique circumstances. Following a consultation on these reforms, the Government will be providing extra funding to help cover additional expenses like travel and more support for students with children. Ministers will work with the Royal College of Nursing, hospitals and other partners in taking this forward.Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Paul Scully MP
Sutton & Cheam
From: Adrian Chan-Wyles
Sent: 08 July 2016 17:56:02
To: SCULLY, Paul
Subject: Please support the call to halt NHS bursary cuts
Dear Paul Scully MP,There is a looming crisis facing our health service, in its ability to deliver safe and high quality care to patients. There is a dangerous shortage of nurses in England and Government plans to replace the NHS bursary with student loans risks putting even greater strain on the NHS. Although this change will not affect me directly, I am extremely concerned about the impact this decision will have on future nursing students and but also, on patient care.The nursing community feel incredibly passionate about this – a recent petition reached over 150,000 signatures and led to a debate in Parliament, and student nurses turned out in droves to hear MPs debate the issue. Thousands more student nurses and health care professionals took part in marches across the country to show their opposition, and members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) unanimously voted to in favour of calling on government to look at all options and agree future student nurse funding arrangements at their annual Congress in June 2016. In addition, the RCN, along with over 20 health care trade unions, charities and professional colleges wrote to the Prime Minister to share their concerns and called on the Government to halt its plans.
Student nurses are not like other students – we spend half our time on unpaid clinical placements in hospitals and in the community, and we have a longer academic year than other students. We simply do not have the same opportunities to earn money from part-time work like other students do. As well as this, the average age of a student nurse is 29; many have children and will be put off studying nursing for fear of a lifetime of debt.As your constituent, I am asking for your support. I am asking you to use your voice in Parliament to ask Ministers to pause the process and work with the key stakeholders to develop a system that is fit for purpose and supports future generations of student nurses.Please also sign and promote Early Day Motion 294 on Student Nurses’ Bursaries which supports this call to halt the plans.
You hold the power to amplify the voice of nurses and to bring our voice to bear in this crucial decision about the future of the nursing workforce.Yours sincerely,Adrian Chan-Wyles