Health minister agrees to join nursing student on placement

Ben Gummer has apparently agreed to join Danielle Tiplady, who is fighting to save student bursaries, for a day on her placement

A nursing student, who is fighting to save bursaries from being axed, will be joined on her work placement by a government health minister.

Danielle Tiplady, who is in her third year at King’s College London, invited Conservative MP Ben Gummer to join her for the day during a meeting last week at the Department of Health. She said she had invited Mr Gummer so he could ‘see for himself what life is like for us’.

A DH spokesperson confirmed the health minister has accepted the invitation to join Ms Tiplady on her placement at St Mary's Hospital in London, subject to his upcoming diary commitments.

The government has plans to scrap the nursing bursary and replace it with student loans, while also lifting the cap on the number of training places for nursing students.

Critics have said this will leave the students saddled with debts and discourage people from entering the nursing profession.

Ms Tiplady said that during their meeting, Mr Gummer ‘made it clear he only wanted to talk about how to implement the plan’ rather than debating the principle of it.

She added: ‘I told him how he would be stopping people from realising their dreams, and that actually the bursary isn’t enough and he should be increasing it, not taking it away.'

Labour MP Wes Streeting has launched an Early Day Motion which calls on the government to drop its proposal and consult on other ways to fund nurse training. 

Early Day Motions are used by MPs to draw attention to a cause. They can be debated, although this rarely happens. 

Twelve MPs have signed the motion, including former nurse and Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield.


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