Following a recent meeting with the Health Minister in which NUS-USI suggested that he should safeguard the book and uniform allowance for nursing students which he said would be scrapped, NUS-USI President Adrianne Peltz has said she’s pleased the Minster will now provide the allowance for the 2012 intake. The Minister has today announced that the one-off book and uniform allowance worth £190 will now be provided for anyone starting in 2012. Health bursaries for nursing and midwifery students are still being cut by almost 15% for anyone starting from now, and NUS-USI will continue to press to stop these cuts.
Adrianne Peltz said: “It is encouraging that the Health Minister has acted upon some of the concerns which we expressed to him in our recent meeting.
“We welcome the fact that he is now not going to scrap the book and uniform allowance for students starting in 2012. The fact that the new intake in 2012 will now receive this allowance will help people in meeting the very significant costs involved in studying. We would however also like to see a commitment from the Minister to continue providing this allowance for students enrolling beyond 2012 too.
“This news is positive, however; this announcement must be viewed in the context of the other cuts in support being imposed upon nursing and midwifery students. Annual nursing and midwifery bursaries are still being cut by almost 15%. That means those starting in 2012 will receive the £190 allowance that students currently get, but will still face a reduction in the annual bursary of £890 on what the students before them received.
“The bursary is what the nursing students survive on, as they spend so much time on placement working in hospitals that it’s virtually impossible for them to supplement their income. We believe that the bursary cuts could have an absolutely devastating impact on students. This announcement on allowances shows that the Minister is listening, and we will continue to press strongly against these cuts to try and push for further positive news for nursing and midwifery students.”