The replacement of NHS bursaries by loans for nursing and allied health professional students was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in November 2015. Starting August 01, 2017, new nursing and allied health students will have to access the standard student support system to cover their tuition fees and means-tested support for living costs. Repayment of this loan will be similar to those taken by other student loans taken for university studies. Currently, once a graduate starts earning over £21,000, the loan repayment starts – amounting to 9% of income over £21,000. In case the income drops below £21,000, the repayment process stops. This continues for 30 years, after which, in case of any outstanding amount, the same is written off.
The Department of Health Consultation Hub is asking for feedback by June 30th, on how the proposed reforms can be implemented successfully. Applicable to only those studying in England, this could impact future nursing workforce across UK significantly. Calling this an opportunity to shape the future of nurse funding, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is seeking its member’s views to prepare their feedback to the consultation.
The RCN on its part is planning to call on the Government to develop student funding in a manner which will encourage people to join the profession. Members wanting to send their inputs for RCN’s feedback response will be informed on how they can do so within a few days.
Do you think that this model will encourage more people to opt for nursing and other allied health studies or do you think that current system is a better option?
Comment below and let us know your thoughts.