Emma Reynolds, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton North East, has called on the government to reverse their decision to abolish bursaries for student nurses. The measure was announced by the Tory government in the November Spending Review, and will mean that student nurses will no longer receive means tested bursaries of £1000 to £4000 during their studies, but instead will be offered loans. In her role as a member of the cross party Parliamentary Health Select Committee, Emma recently raised her concerns with the Health Minister, Alistair Burt.

Emma said at the committee, “There is quite a lot of concern across the House about the change from bursaries to loans, particularly those individuals who are attracted into nursing as mature students, perhaps sometimes as a second career. There is a worry that perhaps the Government have not done a thorough enough impact assessment of making that big a change.”

Speaking afterwards Emma said, “It is difficult to compare normal undergraduates and those studying nursing. Those studying nursing are working many hours unpaid in a caring role as part of their course. It is therefore much more difficult for them to get a part time job to supplement the cost of their studies. I am concerned about the potential it will have for putting people off a career in nursing. We need to train more nurses, and this measure may be counterproductive to that aim, if it makes it harder for people to pursue their ambition of becoming a nurse.”