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Student nurses to walk out of placements over bursary removal plans


Student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals are gearing up for another week of campaigning over the government’s plan to remove bursaries.

In two weeks’ time on 10 February students across the UK are planning to walk out of their clinical placements for an hour from 10am to 11am.

This is to coincide with the junior doctor’s strike, which is due to take place all day.

Those behind the campaign, called Save NHS Bursaries, said they wanted to stand in solidarity with junior doctors – who are striking over changes to their contract and pay – and unite both of their causes.

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Students on placement are supernumerary, which means the walkout is not industrial action and that they are able to leave after discussing with a manager.

Those planning to take part in the demonstration are encouraged to speak with their ward managers and mentors in advance.

Meanwhile, on Monday 8 February, students will show support for the campaign by putting up banners, and the day after will send messages on Twitter using the hashtag #‎HuntMustGo.

On Sunday 14 February they plan to post pictures online on social media sites, including Twitter using the #‎LoveNHS hashtag.

The week of campaigning follows demonstrations across the UK, including a march through London which attracted thousands of people.

Earlier this month a petition sparked a parliamentary debate on the bursary removal, which saw MPs predict an NHS recruitment “disaster” if the plans were to go ahead.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has also expressed concerns, saying the proposals “punish” student nurses and would exacerbate the current nurse shortage.

Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to scrap bursaries and end free university tuition for healthcare students from 2017 in his spending review at the end of last year.

Unions have claimed the move to a loans system – which would see students incur around £50,000 of debt – would be offputting for applicants and will mean less nurses are trained.

However, the government has claimed the changes would increase the number of nurses because universities would be able to offer more course places.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Well done student nurses, it's a shame us nurses haven't got the courage to do the same over pension changes and pay freezes, power to you.

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  • Dont make me laugh". Who ever said students are supernumerary? in your dreams. They WORK as part of the team, work the same shifts, and work week-ends and nights..True they don't pay Tuition fees but they have to take a student loan and rely on family support to make it a viable option. If there is no family support and only a student loan and bursary I cant see how it will work for our nurses to be able to afford to train. So again the government is winning..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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  • Students nurses work very hard on the ward I work on and yes the Sisters count them as workers although not on paper.
    I am hoping to retire in a few years time and I am hoping for nurses to really stand up for what is right and fair, and to take this submissive maid type veil away from nursing. Look out for others but don't let people trample on you.

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  • Good for them!

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  • I am hoping for nurses to really stand up for what is right and fair, and to take this submissive maid type veil away from nursing. Look out for others but don't let people trample on you

    I agree with this perspective a million times over. I felt like an alien in the whole 10 yrs i was nursing for having this view, made to feel guilty for not being a martyr. thank you. I wish you were my ward sister

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