NHS Frontline Crisis Worsens as Government Scraps Nursing Bursaries

08 Jul 2016
The Government has created a recruitment gap by capping the supply of nurses and then announcing an untested policy that will only increase shortages.

From next year, the government plans to fund nurse training through loans instead of grants to create an ‘open market’ that will remove the NHS’s ability to place nurses where there is demand.

The shift from grants to loans is regressive, which means poorer student nurses are more likely to rely on loans and will be more likely to be saddled with debt.

Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, responding to the news of the recruitment gap, said:

“Placing the burden of the cost of education on nurses themselves is plain wrong.

“Nurses are the lifeline of our NHS and they shouldn’t have to be saddled with excessive levels of debt to qualify.
“Like the junior doctor contracts, the Tory government is imposing more unpopular policies on frontline staff.
“Nurses spend half of their training working in the wards of our hospitals. Making them pay for their own education means that they are in effect paying for the privilege to look after the nation’s sick.

“The recruitment gap is a result of the government’s ideological attachment to austerity and is a problem of its own making. The solution is not to lump our nurses with debt but to lift the cap on recruitment.”


Notes to editors:

- The NHS is facing a chronic crisis in the supply of nurses because since 2010 the conservative government has been capping places in the name of austerity. The government claims that the supply of nurses will be increased by 10,000 during the lifetime of Parliament, by making trainee nurses pay for their own education.

back ⇢