News

Nursing students take on extra work due to financial hardship

Unison survey reveals NHS students are taking out payday loans and using foodbanks.
Student_job

Debt-ridden NHS students are being forced to take on extra jobs to supplement their income, a Unison report has revealed.

The union survey, carried out between September 2015 and June 2016, shows that two thirds of NHS students work in addition to their education and 64% said this affects their ability to study.

Almost half of the 726 students who responded to the survey said they have considered leaving nursing, midwifery or allied health professional courses due to financial hardship.

One fifth said they had taken out payday loans and one in ten said they had used food banks to feed themselves or their families.

Bursary

As the survey results were published, hundreds of nursing students across England went to their local MPs constituency offices to lobby against

Debt-ridden NHS students are being forced to take on extra jobs to supplement their income, a Unison report has revealed.

Student_job
Nursing students say that taking on extra work affects their studies. Picture: iStock

The union survey, carried out between September 2015 and June 2016, shows that two thirds of NHS students work in addition to their education and 64% said this affects their ability to study.

Almost half of the 726 students who responded to the survey said they have considered leaving nursing, midwifery or allied health professional courses due to financial hardship.

One fifth said they had taken out payday loans and one in ten said they had used food banks to feed themselves or their families.

Bursary

As the survey results were published, hundreds of nursing students across England went to their local MPs constituency offices to lobby against government plans to axe their student bursaries.

From September next year, nursing and other healthcare students in England will be required to pay university fees.

Unison head of health Christina McAnea called on ministers to devise a financial plan that works for students. ‘There appears to be no end to the misery heaped upon healthcare students by a government that seems driven by cutting costs,’ she said.

‘This report shows many healthcare students are already suffering with debt and are working excess hours just to keep their heads above water. This is before they take on student loans to pay course fees, which could see them amassing debts of £52,000 each.

Loans

‘Next year, as the bursary disappears, things will get much worse and they will have no option but to take out loans.

‘If the financial hardship being suffered by NHS students puts off those from ordinary backgrounds, patients will be the losers.’

The Department of Health has said that removing the bursary will fund up to 10,000 more training places by 2020 and provide students with about 25% more financial support.


Further information

In the Red: Student Nurse Debt

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