Today, the new Conservative Government has announced that nursing students will receive extra financial support to help with living costs. Nursing students will receive at least an additional £5 000, with students in regions or specialisms that need recruitment help most, or help covering childcare costs, benefitting from an extra £3 000 that they will not have to pay back.
There are already 5 000 more nurses in the NHS than this time last year and the number of students accepted on nursing courses at UK universities has reached a record high.
These new financial grants are expected to help more than 35 000 students every year from September 2020 and is looking to encourage more students to choose nursing as a profession as part of the biggest recruitment drive in decades. The ‘We Are The NHS, We Are Nurses’ NHS campaign, backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, targets teenagers who are choosing their future career or looking to swap degrees.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The NHS is there for all of us in our time of need, thanks to the skill, dedication and compassion of its staff. I know from my Grandma, who worked nights as a nurse, just how compassionate and hard-working our nurses are.
“As we enter the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are embarking on the biggest nursing recruitment drive in decades, backed by a new universal support package.
“We want every person considering this incredible career to apply for their university place before the UCAS deadline of 15 January, safe in the knowledge they will benefit from this financial support from the start of the next academic year.
“This £2 billion plus package builds on the government’s ongoing work to increase the number of places for students and is central to its commitment to deliver 50,000 more nurses on our wards.
“At the same time we are also urgently reviewing the pensions issue senior clinicians have told us is having a direct impact on them, so we have the staff we need to deliver the care patients deserve.”
The Government has committed £33.9 billion a year until 2023-4 to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan and to hire an extra 50 000 nurses for the NHS. This is one of the first steps that will work to reach this target.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I have heard loud and clear that the priority of the British people is to focus on the NHS – and to make sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care.
“Nurses epitomise everything that makes the NHS so revered across the world – skill, compassion, energy and dedication.
“On the steps of Downing Street last week, I said we will deliver 50,000 more nurses, and this new financial support package is a crucial part of delivering this.
“There can be no doubting our commitment to the NHS, and over the coming months we will bring forward further proposals to transform this great country.”
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:
“Our number one priority is our precious NHS, which is always there for our family, friends and loved ones.
“I am extremely pleased to see that before our first week is even over, the new Government is already delivering on its commitment to build a stronger NHS and recruit more nurses. This is one of the first step of many to ensure that staff have the support and care that they need.”