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Student midwife bursaries cut

26 November, 2015

Student midwife bursaries cut

George Osborne iStock_250x200.jpg

Chancellor George Osborne. Credit: iStock

The RCM has slammed the ending of student midwife bursaries announced yesterday (25 November) in the spending review as ‘extremely worrying’ and ‘another blow’ to the profession.

Chancellor George Osborne said that student midwives and nurses will stop receiving bursaries under a new cost-cutting measure.

RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications Jon Skewes said that the move would have a ‘huge and negative impact’ on midwife student numbers.

There had been no consultation on the proposed change, he said.

‘The cuts are likely to deter many potential students from entering the profession, which is not good news for the future of midwifery in the UK. Cutting public funding to train frontline staff in an already struggling and understaffed maternity service just doesn’t make sense,’ said Jon.

But university bodies have given initial backing to the change, because it will allow for an increase in health professional student numbers.

Professor Jessica Corner, chair of the Council of Deans of Health said: ‘Carefully implemented, this should allow universities in partnership with the NHS to increase the number of training places and also improve day-to-day financial support for students while they are studying.’

The plan means that students will have access to more day-to-day maintenance support through the loans system.

Professor Steve West, chair of Universities UK’s health education and research policy network said that success depended on getting the details right.

‘Areas that need to be addressed include mature student participation, issues for professions that struggle with student recruitment and the importance of placement funding and capacity,’ he said.

‘We will work with government and the NHS to secure the sustainable funding system that ensures a high quality future health workforce.’

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