Almost half of student midwives have considered leaving their midwifery studies due to financial pressures and debt, according to the latest student midwife survey from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
According to the findings, the average student midwife expects to graduate with £41,000 worth of debt, with some students leaving their studies with debts totalling to £100,000.
The study also found that 50% of student midwives who apply for a grant to help with childcare costs have had their application rejected, and over a third of students with care responsibilities are getting no financial support.
Commenting on the latest survey findings, RCM CEO Gill Walton said: “To burden student midwives with large amounts of debt that they will struggle to pay with a modest NHS salary is unjust and frankly just wrong.
“We should be doing all we can to make working in the NHS as attractive as possible, but the current system and the removal of the bursary is making student midwives think about leaving before they have even begun their midwifery careers.
Gill Walton also highlighted how student midwife RCM members feel stressed over their financial situation on a day-to-day basis.
“Our student midwife members have told us they worry so much about money and debt that it is affecting their studies on a day-to-day basis and this is simply unacceptable at a time in their lives when they should be relatively care free and be able to concentrate on their studies.”
Furthermore 93.43% of student midwives in England who are currently receiving a bursary say that it isn’t enough for them to live on.
“The Government should be doing all it can to ensure that NHS maternity services right across the UK are future proofed, ensuring there are enough midwives to deliver safe high-quality care to women and their babies,” Gill Walton added.
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