Councillor calls for a re-think on bursaries

Picture credit PA P
Picture credit PA P
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A Fleetwood councillor has again called on the Government to re-think its plans to replace bursaries with loans for student nurses this year.

County Coun Lorraine Beavers had previously put forward a motion at a meeting of the county council last year calling for a policy change, saying: “We believe this will cause undue hardship and will deter people from training to become nurses.”

Coun Beavers also fears the proposals will cause a huge reduction in the number of nurses being trained across the country.

This week she said: “The Conservative Government has created a recruitment gap in the NHS by taken away the student nurse bursary, the change from grants to loans is regressive, this means student nurses from poorer backgrounds are more likely to rely on loans and will be more likely to be saddled with debt.

“My daughter was a student nurse and now is a nurse for the NHS - she would have fitted the category of poorer background, it’s just typical Conservative policy which helps the wealthy get on in life whilst aspirations for those 
trying to get on in life are gapped.

“The government need to rethink their plans and find a way to support student nurses who are the lifeline of the NHS.”

Coun Beavers’ latest comments came after former shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the decision to replace bursaries with student loans had resulted in a 23 per cent drop in applications from prospective nursing students.

Ministers had previously said the reforms would help increase nursing posts.

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