• Call us now: 0300 303 0444
  • Call us now: 0300 303 0444

You are here

‘Government have created perfect storm says RCM on axing of student bursaries’                                                            

1 August, 2017

‘Government have created perfect storm says RCM on axing of student bursaries’                                                            

Binary Data

Today (Tuesday August 1st) the Government will officially axe bursaries and introduce full tuition fees for midwifery and healthcare courses.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been staunchly opposed to these plans since the Government announced proposals to abolish the bursary in late 2015.

Commenting, Jon Skewes RCMs Director for Policy, Employment Relations and communications says; “We believe this decision is a fundamental mistake by the Government and have warned about the wide reaching implications of removing the student midwifery bursary given the existing crisis in our maternity services.

“In England alone we remain 3,500 midwives short. This coupled with younger midwives leaving, an ageing workforce and the loss of EU midwives post Brexit, the RCM has grave concerns for staffing our maternity services, 

“The Government has completely ignored RCM advice to make any loans forgivable if students then go to work in the NHS. The axing of the bursary and introduction of tuition in England will without doubt worsen the current shortage of midwives.

“Earlier this year UCAS figures revealed a 25 percent decrease in applications for midwifery and nursing degrees. Figures published over the last few weeks have shown a collapse in the numbers of EU midwives who are applying to work in the UK, so its very clear that this decision is already having a massive impact.

“Also, Government pay freezes and pay restraint has seen the value of pay of the average midwife drop by over £6,000 since 2010. The RCM has recently launched its latest pay campaign; Fair Pay Overdue, but its crucial that Government recognise that they need to pay NHS staff fairly so they can recruit and retain the necessary numbers of staff.

“We are dealing with a profession that is already overworked, understaffed and under paid. The Government should be doing all it can to make midwifery and working in the NHS as attractive as possible rather than deterring those by cutting public funding to train frontline staff.”

For information on the RCM Fair Pay Overdue campaign visit the RCM website at  https://www.rcm.org.uk/pay.


To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.




Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

Printer-friendly version