A call for NHS bursaries to be reinstated has received full support from Midlands MP John Spellar.

John Spellar said: “At a time when we are seeing a shortage of nurses it is both and unfair and incompetent as it will discourage able youngsters from poorer families from entering the profession.

“Instead, the Government should be focused on expanding nurse training to provide opportunities for our youngsters and support for the Health Service.”

Early Day Motion 50: NHS Bursaries

That this House appreciates the invaluable work nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals do to keep the NHS running; is alarmed by the Government’s plans to replace the current NHS bursary with a loans scheme which will place even greater strain on the system and those wishing to train; notes that a nurse’s starting salary is £21,692, which is over the student loan repayment threshold, so nurses would begin paying £51,600 of debt, almost seven times the current level, as soon as they graduate; urges the Government to realise that student nurses find themselves with longer academic years than other students, many spending their time on unpaid clinical placements often far away from their homes, leaving little opportunity for them to mitigate their economic circumstances; and calls on the Government to listen to the overwhelming views of the Royal College of Nursing, a coalition of more than 20 charities, trade unions, including UNITE and Unison, and student nurses themselves to halt its plans for these changes in the interests of the NHS.

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