The Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) said that scrapping student nurse funding could 'destabilise the NHS.'
The open letter, in response to the consultation on student nurse bursaries, said that the charity is 'extremely concerned about the current changes to the NHS bursary system.'
The letter recognises three major changes to nurse funding which 'have the potential to destabilise the NHS in England'. These include the development of nursing associates, the removal of the bursary for pre-registration training and the withdrawal of funding for post-registration specialist and advanced education and training.
The charity is also concerned that the vote to leave the EU may impact on the number of nurses to join the NHS and the introduction of NMC revalidation at the same time as funding is being withdrawn for post-registration specialist and advanced practice.
In particular, the QNI is concerned about the impact that withdrawing the pre-registration funding could have on post-registration nursing programmes. 'We understand that funding from Health Education England will be withdrawn for programmes such as district nursing, health visiting, school nursing, advanced practice, nurse practitioner and independent prescribing from September 2017. This will have a detrimental impact on patient safety and is contrary to the government’s strategy of supporting more care being delivered closer to home as described in the Five Year Forward View.'
The QNI's response to the consultation echoes the response from the Royal College of Nursing who also believe that the removal of the bursary could reduce the number of district nurses.