All nursing students on courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back, the government has announced.
The funding will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing, midwifery and many allied health students. It is expected to benefit more than 35,000 students every year.
Students will receive at least £5,000 a year, with up to £3,000 further funding available for eligible students, including for specialist disciplines that struggle to recruit, such as mental health; an additional childcare allowance, on top of the £1,000 already on offer; and in areas of the country which have seen a decrease in people accepted on some nursing, midwifery and allied health courses over the past year.
‘I have heard loud and clear that the priority of the British people is to focus on the NHS – and to make sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care. Nurses epitomise everything that makes the NHS so revered across the world – skill, compassion, energy and dedication,’ said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
‘On the steps of Downing Street last week, I said we will deliver 50,000 more nurses, and this new financial support package is a crucial part of delivering this. There can be no doubting our commitment to the NHS, and over the coming months we will bring forward further proposals to transform this great country.’
The measures will be part of the upcoming NHS People Plan, which will set out the government’s plans to reduce vacancies across the NHS and secure the staff needed for the future.
The government has also confirmed that it will carry out an urgent review of the pensions annual allowance taper problem. This issue has caused some doctors to turn down extra shifts for fear of high tax bills.
‘As we enter the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are embarking on the biggest nursing recruitment drive in decades, backed by a new universal support package. We want every person considering this incredible career to apply for their university place before the UCAS deadline of 15 January, safe in the knowledge they will benefit from this financial support from the start of the next academic year,’ said health secretary Matt Hancock. ‘This £2 billion plus package builds on the government’s ongoing work to increase the number of places for students and is central to its commitment to deliver 50,000 more nurses on our wards. At the same time we are also urgently reviewing the pensions issue senior clinicians have told us is having a direct impact on them, so we have the staff we need to deliver the care patients deserve.’