Tuesday 8th December 2015 – Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, slammed government plans to scrap bursaries for student nurses and midwives.
Speaking in the Houses of Parliament at a meeting organised by the National Union of Students, Mr Blomfield outlined concerns that plans to replace bursaries with loans will deter people from poorer families and worsen the national shortage of nurses and midwives.
He pointed out that often student nurses and midwives were more likely to be from lower income families, and many were already saddled with debt from a first degree. They were also unable to take on an extra job to support themselves, because of their busy and demanding course.
Mr Blomfield said: “Both the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives are worried about the impact on recruitment and fear it will increase staff shortages.
“The Government argues that by scrapping bursaries and lifting the cap on nursing places will lead to more student nurses and midwives. All the evidence suggests that scrapping bursaries will damage recruitment. The real reason we’re not training enough nurses and midwives is because the Government hasn’t created enough training places!”
Speaking after the event, Mr Blomfield said: “It beggars belief that at a time when we need more nurses and midwives than ever the Government is scrapping bursaries. The Government are just shifting saving money at the expense of hard-working students by outsourcing the cost of their training on to the students themselves.”
Notes for Editors:
1. On Tuesday 8th December the NUS held a #CutTheCosts lobby of MPs in the Houses of Parliament where Paul Blomfield MP was one of the speakers.
2. In the Comprehensive Spending Review George Osborne announced plans to scrap bursaries for nurses and midwives and replace them with loans. The cap on the number of student places will be lifted and the government claims this will allow the NHS to provide extra training places.
For further comment or information please call Paul Blomfield’s office on 0114 272 2882.