It is claimed that axing bursaries for midwives and nurses will save around £800 million a year, and create more jobs within these professions.
However, the Royal College of Midwives says that the government’s policy on student funding is a “fundamental mistake”.
“We have grave concerns for the future of maternity services and the midwifery profession in England as a result of this. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have no plans to follow suit and we welcome their good sense.
“The RCM estimates that there is now a shortage of around 3,500 midwives in England alone. Because these plans are likely to make that shortage worse the RCM believes this policy to be a fundamental mistake,” Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the RCM, Jon Skewes said.
Following the announcement in the 2015 Spending Review, new nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students will receive their financial support through student loans from August 2017.
Jon Skewes added: “Ministers have made minor concessions on the cost of placements and hardship, but this does not compensate for the large debts that midwifery students will experience and is not sufficient. The Government has completely ignored the RCM’s advice to make any loans forgivable if students then go to work in the NHS.”
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