The Council of Deans of Health has greeted the announcement of non-repayable grants for healthcare students as a positive move to attract more students to these professions and reduce workforce shortages. The Council, which represents UK university faculties engaged in education for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions, has previously called for the introduction of grants as an important part of the wider strategy required to increase the workforce.
From September 2020, all those studying nursing, midwifery and many allied health professions will qualify for an annual grant of at least £5,000 with more available to students with children and those studying specialist disciplines where recruitment has been challenging. The funding will come in addition to standard student support and will be made available to those already on these programmes as well as new students.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, said:
“The Council has been working closely with the Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, Government and arm’s-length bodies to secure the introduction of measures that will help support an increase in student numbers. The additional financial support announced today will help attract good applicants to these professions, signal their importance to the health and social care sector and more importantly will provide vital support to help students through their studies”.
The Government has committed to releasing further details of eligible programmes in early 2020.
Professor Webster-Henderson said:
“We await further details of the disciplines in scope for the £5,000 grant and additional support. These arrangements may need to be extended to other disciplines over time”.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council, said:
“We look forward to continued investment in national recruitment campaigns and clinical placement capacity. We welcome the commitment to get these funding arrangements in place for September and will work with policy makers to ensure universities and students are given clear detailed information as soon as possible”.
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