Across the country, midwives and other health care professionals marched in protest following the Government’s announcement to scrap NHS bursaries for student midwives and nurses, which was announced back in November.
According to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), midwives could be repaying their student loans back until 2050 if the Government’s plans go ahead, and could leave student midwives with over £100,000 in debt.
Head of Learning and Education for RCM, Carmel Lloyd said: “These government plans are appalling and will undoubtedly deter many committed and talented people from considering a career in midwifery.
“The RCM is extremely disappointed that the government did not seek advice or consult with us prior to making this decision. This is a change that has huge implications for both our student midwife members and an already understaffed maternity service.
“Currently we have a diverse body of students who come from all walks of life, many are mature, not school leavers, who already have substantial caring and financial commitments – they will be particularly hit hard.”
A survey by the RCM revealed 32% of their student union members have graduated from their midwifery degree and have begun training as a midwife.
73% of these said they borrowed to fund their studies.
“The implications of these plans are wide reaching and extremely damaging for a profession that is already overworked and understaffed. High quality midwifery care can only be achieved through valuing and supporting our maternity workforce,” Carmel Lloyd added.
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