The Scottish Government announced this week that they will be retaining bursaries and free tuition fees for student midwives and nurses in Scotland.
Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is indeed great news for our future midwives in Scotland.
“I urge the Government in England to look at their Scottish colleagues and to follow their very sensible lead. This announcement demonstrates the high value that the Scottish Government places on their health professionals. It should make ministers at the Department of Health in England question their decision making as they prepare to consign English student midwives and other health workers to decades of debt.
“I call on the Government again, to rethink plans to axe the NHS bursary for student midwives in England. It is a poorly thought through idea, with little concern for the potentially serious consequences of deterring many future midwives from entering the profession.
“Opposition to this is large and growing and we along with other organisations will continue to challenge the Government to think again.”
In her speech that sets out the vision for a modern NHS in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the funding alongside a range of initiatives which aim to widen access to education across a range of professions over the next five years including:
- The retention of the nursing and midwifery bursary, which alongside free tuition fees for student nurses and midwives will help attract the best people to train for nursing and midwifery roles.
- The launch of a discretionary fund of at least £1 million for nursing and midwifery students experiencing financial hardship to provide a ‘safety net’ that will help them continue their studies.
For further information on the announcement visit click here.