News

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to retain student nursing bursary

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse the government’s decision to scrap student nursing bursaries.
Corbyn on the NHS

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse the governments decision to scrap student nursing bursaries.

Launching his plans for the NHS as part of the Labour leadership contest, Mr Corbyn vowed to focus on patients not contractors and to 'renationalise' the health service.

He pledged to end private finance initiative (PFI) contracts and guarantee bursaries for nursing students in England, which the government is replacing with loans and tuition fees from August 2017.

The next Labour government would go further than reversing Tory cuts - it would deliver a modern health and social care service that is fully publicly provided and fully publicly funded,' Mr Corbyn told the event at University College London.

PFI continues to take money away from patient care while job and bursary cuts have crippled the NHS and disproportionately hit

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse the government’s decision to scrap student nursing bursaries.

Jeremy Corbyn on the NHS
Jeremy Corbyn on the NHS Picture: Rex Features

Launching his plans for the NHS as part of the Labour leadership contest, Mr Corbyn vowed to focus on ‘patients not contractors’ and to 'renationalise' the health service.

He pledged to end private finance initiative (PFI) contracts and guarantee bursaries for nursing students in England, which the government is replacing with loans and tuition fees from August 2017.

‘The next Labour government would go further than reversing Tory cuts - it would deliver a modern health and social care service that is fully publicly provided and fully publicly funded,' Mr Corbyn told the event at University College London.

‘PFI continues to take money away from patient care while job and bursary cuts have crippled the NHS and disproportionately hit women who make up 77% of NHS staff.’

£9,000 a year fees

In July, the government announced it was abolishing nursing and midwifery bursaries from next summer, leaving nurses with £9,000-a-year tuition fees and loans.

It said the move would fund up to 10,000 more training places and 25% extra financial support for students, but the RCN has warned the move would leave graduates with debts of up to £50,000.

Newly-qualified district nurse Danielle Tiplady, who started the Bursary or Bust campaign against the changes, also spoke at Mr Corbyn's launch.

She told the audience about the importance of the bursary and criticised nurses’ low pay, saying she knew colleagues who had used food banks.

'Fantastic'

Ms Tiplady told Nursing Standard: ‘I think it is absolutely fantastic that he [Mr Corbyn] has pledged to keep the bursary, and it is heart-warming when you have a politician that listens to nurses and a campaign that was started by students.’

Mr Corbyn's pledge comes as leadership rival Owen Smith also called for the decision to scrap the bursary to be reversed.

Andy Burnham, Labour’s candidate for Greater Manchester mayor, has pledged to reintroduce the bursary in Manchester if it is not available nationally.

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs