Petition is stepping up call to bring back grants for nurses
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