Pe­ti­tion is step­ping up call to bring back grants for nurses

Midweek Visiter - - St Joseph’s Hospice -

A PAR­LIA­MEN­TARY pe­ti­tion calling for nurs­ing bur­saries to be re­in­stated af­ter a huge drop in nurs­ing ap­pli­ca­tions has reached over 22,000 sig­na­tures in two weeks.

Since bur­saries were axed in 2016, ap­pli­ca­tions for nurs­ing de­grees have fallen by a third.

The pe­ti­tion was launched by El­iz­a­beth Sav­age – the Labour par­lia­men­tary can­di­date for South­port – who says getting rid of bur­saries was a ‘cat­a­strophic mis­take’.

She said: “It has been amaz­ing to see the pe­ti­tion take off over the last few days. I think it is be­cause peo­ple re­alise this is a nurs­ing cri­sis for NHS Eng­land.

“We need as many nurses as we can get now be­cause there are 41,000 va­can­cies but strip­ping peo­ple of the chance of getting a bur­sary makes the de­ci­sion to be­come a nurse even harder. ‘

“Peo­ple who want to re­train to be­come a nurse will cer­tainly think twice be­cause they will be wor­ried about getting into debt and work­ing class ap­pli­cants will find it harder to com­plete their course.”

“You can­not ex­pect nurses to work on the side dur­ing their place­ments, they will be ab­so­lutely shat­tered.’’

Ms Sav­age added: ‘‘With Brexit around the cor­ner, no­body knows what is go­ing to hap­pen, there are so many for­eign nurses who are scared right now and many have al­ready started leav­ing.

‘‘And it is not just nurses who have had their bur­saries re­moved, NHS pro­fes­sion­als like ra­dio­g­ra­phers are in the same sit­u­a­tion too.’

If the pe­ti­tion reaches 100,000 sig­na­tures, it will be con­sid­ered for de­bate in Par­lia­ment.

For more in­for­ma­tion see pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ment. uk/pe­ti­tions/227419

Liz Sav­age

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