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Nursing Standard urges rethink of scrapping of nursing bursary

The editors of three leading UK nursing publications, including Nursing Standard, have written a letter to The Times calling on Theresa May to intervene and reinstate the nursing bursary.
Bursary demo

Nursing Standard has called on prime minister Theresa May to reverse the decision to scrap the nursing bursary.

In a letter published in The Times newspaper today, editor Graham Scott appeals for Ms May to intervene on the issue.

He joins forces with Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton and Nursing in Practice deputy editor Angela Sharda in urging the rethink, which follows a letter sent by all three directly to the prime minister earlier this month.

'An untested gamble'

The letter to The Times highlights the RCN’s view that removing the bursary is an ‘untested gamble’ that could have a drastically negative impact on patient care.

The government confirmed in July that the bursary would be axed from August 2017 and would be replaced with loans and tuition fees. It said this would create about 2,000 extra nurse training places per year.

Concerns have been

Nursing Standard has called on prime minister Theresa May to reverse the decision to scrap the nursing bursary.

In a letter published in The Times newspaper today, editor Graham Scott appeals for Ms May to intervene on the issue.

He joins forces with Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton and Nursing in Practice deputy editor Angela Sharda in urging the rethink, which follows a letter sent by all three directly to the prime minister earlier this month.

'An untested gamble'

The letter to The Times highlights the RCN’s view that removing the bursary is an ‘untested gamble’ that could have a drastically negative impact on patient care.

The government confirmed in July that the bursary would be axed from August 2017 and would be replaced with loans and tuition fees. It said this would create about 2,000 extra nurse training places per year.

Concerns have been raised, however, that the changes would saddle graduate nurses with debt and disproportionately affect those from less privileged backgrounds.

The letter states: ‘When she took office the new prime minister pledged to establish a fairer country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few.’ It also points to greater uncertainty about the sustainability of the NHS workforce because of the impact of the Brexit vote.

Our letter to The Times in full

As editors of three of the UK’s leading nursing publications, we stand united in urging Theresa May to rethink the scrapping of student bursaries.

As the RCN has made clear, the measure is an ‘untested gamble’ that could drastically affect the care that patients will receive.

When she took office the new prime minister pledged to establish a fairer country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few.

Last month the House of Lords debated the impact that Brexit would have on the NHS and social care, and Baroness Watkins of Tavistock said: ‘The decision to leave the EU leaves us with serious uncertainty on the current and future supply of the lifeblood of our NHS, the private, voluntary and social care sectors – namely, the workforce.’

Hence, we appeal to the prime minister to intervene on this issue.

Graham Scott, editor, Nursing Standard

Angela Sharda, deputy editor, Nursing in Practice

Jenni Middleton, editor, Nursing Times

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