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Welsh Government retains student bursary

9 December, 2016

Welsh Government retains student bursary

Anyone choosing to study midwifery in Wales from September 2017 will be eligible for the current NHS bursary, the Welsh Government has announced today (9 December).

In a statement issued by Vaughan Gething, cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport, those individuals electing to study an ‘eligible health-related programme’ in Wales next year will receive financial support during their studies.

The bursary will only be available to those who commit to working in Wales for a minimum of two years after qualifying.

The standard student support package from Student Finance Wales is available for those students not wanting to commit to the two-year timeframe, but who live in Wales permanently.

This agreement is only in place for the 2017-18 cohort, while the government decides on a longer term support package.

The longer term strategy will be considered, the Welsh Government has said, alongside the recommendations arising from the Diamond Review.

According to Vaughan Gething, the move is a ‘positive action to attract more health professionals across Wales and throughout the UK to come to Wales to train, work and live’.

The RCM director for Wales Helen Rogers said: ‘This is very welcome news that will bring stability, certainty and much-needed financial support for those looking to train as midwives next year.

‘I applaud the Welsh Government for not going down the same road as England on this issue, where bursaries are being scrapped. It is vital for student midwives that the bursary is retained. Around one in four student midwives already carry debt from a first degree and would not be able to train as a midwife without the bursary. It would also affect those from lower-income families and mature students from entering the profession.

‘I now urge the Welsh Government to commit to ensuring that student midwives of the future see midwifery as an affordable career choice beyond 2017-18 to ensure the future supply of midwives for Wales,’ she said.

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