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Andy Burnham pledges to keep nursing bursaries

Former health secretary has unveiled plans to keep nursing student bursaries if he is elected mayor of Greater Manchester next year.

Labour MP Andy Burnham has unveiled plans to keep nursing student bursaries if he is elected mayor of Greater Manchester next year.

In July, the government confirmed nursing student bursaries in England will be replaced in August 2017 with tuition fees and loans.

The move was met with widespread criticism from the profession, with the RCN warning graduates would face debts of up to £50,000.

Bursary and apprenticeship schemes

Mr Burnham, a former health secretary, has outlined plans to create a Greater Manchester Nursing Bursary. It will be funded by savings made on agency nurse spending.

Entry into the scheme will require a commitment from participants to work in the NHS in Greater Manchester for 5 years.

In a letter, Mr Burnham has also pledged to create a new fast-track nursing apprenticeship scheme. The scheme will be available to young people working as healthcare assistants in the social care sector in Manchester.

Labour Party elections

The Labour Party has yet to select its candidate for the elections, which will take place in May 2017. Mr Burnham has declared his intention to stand for elected mayor of Greater Manchester next year.

Outlining the challenges facing Greater Manchester's health system, he said area hospitals spent more than £100 million on agency staff in 2015.

Mr Burnham's letter adds: 'It makes no sense to scrap the bursary when hospitals are in the grip of private staffing agencies.

‘In 2015-16, Greater Manchester's acute trusts spent in excess of £100 million on agency fees due to staffing shortages in the NHS.

‘The government's decision to cut nurse training places in the last Parliament has left trusts beholden to private agencies.’

Length of NHS service could dictate extent of student loan repayment

 

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