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Slashing of student grants will have direct effect on future patient care

11 September 2015

The announcement in the most recent budget that the government intends to stop all student grants from next year will make it more difficult for people to become healthcare professionals including nurses and midwives.

The TUC Congress in Brighton will be told by the Society of Radiographers that it will become even more difficult to attract people to professions that already suffer from significant shortages of qualified individuals.

“On the one hand the government acknowledges that there are shortages of key healthcare professionals which are causing patients to wait longer for treatment and services,” commented Warren Town, the Society’s director of industrial relations.

“On the other hand they are making it more difficult to recruit students to the courses that will train the people that we need by stopping a key element of the financial support that goes towards their living costs whilst they are training,” he continued.

“Before this cut we know that students were not receiving enough money to meet their day-to-day costs of living and universities are reporting that they receive less funding for healthcare courses than they actually cost to deliver.

“The funding of the system is inadequate and is going to have a direct impact on the quality and delivery of care for NHS patients.”

The Society of Radiographers is calling on the TUC (Motion 54 - Funding for nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals’ education) to set-up meetings to review the funding of higher education and convince government that unless significant changes are made, there will be serious consequences for the NHS.

Proposals to attract students into healthcare careers include shifting grants to student loans and whether the NHS should repay a portion of loans after a given period of service.

ENDS

 

Notes for Editor

1. TUC Congress 2015 takes place from Sunday, 13 September - Wednesday, 16 September at the Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton. 2. The Society of Radiographers represents 28,000 health professionals who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. More than 19,000 radiographers are employed by the NHS in the UK. For more information contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238 or 01227 469060.

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