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University urged to postpone cuts

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The University of Glasgow has been urged to wait for the Scottish government to carry out a comprehensive review of healthcare education before making a final decision to go ahead with cuts to its Nursing and Health care School.

The university recently put forward proposals that would see a number of cuts implemented and various departments, including the Nursing and Health Care School, merged with each other as it attempts to plug a £35m funding gap, as reported by Nursing Times last month.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has urged it to delay the cuts until after the government’s review, which could change matters, is completed. However, the review is not set to begin until May.

In a response from the RCN Scotland, associate director Ellen Hudson said; “Losing a nursing education provider like Glasgow University’s Nursing School could mean a lack of overall capacity to deliver pre-registration and post-registration education for nurses in the future, and could also result in the loss of expertise of staff.

“The Scottish government’s Chief Nursing Officer is leading a review of nursing and midwifery education in Scotland, beginning in May, so we would urge the University to delay any decision about the future of its Nursing School until the review is complete.”

She added; “The demand for newly qualified nurses from Glasgow University is extremely high and this reflects the high calibre of their nursing programmes. Not only that, the Nursing School has an excellent reputation for research and is currently funded to carry out research for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association and the MS Society.”

Since the University of Glasgow announced its consultation into departmental cuts and closures, the School of Nursing and Health Care has been inundated with letters of support arguing that its nurses are in extremely high demand - with a 99% employability rate - and that graduates benefit from unique science-based, multidisciplinary degree programmes.

A spokesman for Glasgow University said: “We will, of course, take into consideration the comments of the associate director of the Royal College of Nursing and these will form part of the ongoing consultation process.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I am writing as a fellow nursing student from Edinburgh University, please don't lose hope. I am sure they big guys will reconsider dismantling the school. The school's history speaks for itself and most of Scotland would want to have such high profile nursing school training future nurses. Say strong and be resilient.

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