“Let’s fight for our future colleagues”

Published: 24 May 2016 Ezine

The hot topic at this year’s Society of Radiographers Annual Delegates Conference was the government’s controversial decision to scrap student bursaries in favour of loans.

Conference put forward a total of four motions on the subject, with delegates overwhelmingly mandating the Society to strongly oppose the changes and protect the future of the profession.

In support of Composite Motion 1, Andrew Phillips, a 2nd year student from the South East Region, outlined the massive costs radiography students could face under the reforms, imploring delegates to “oppose the changes as outlined in the motion, and fight for our future colleagues who don’t have a voice”.

Hannah Bannister from Welsh Council, a first time speaker at ADC, spoke in favour of Motion 3, calling on UK Council to lobby to retain bursaries.

Hannah attacked the government for using its failure in workforce planning as an excuse for change, and highlighted the impact of the changes on students from less well off backgrounds and mature students who have families.

There were also passionate contributions from Kate Morris from the Midlands Region, who spoke to Motion 2 saying, “As we all know, we are reaching crisis point for staffing in many of our own departments, and we must aim to not just keep current student numbers, but increase them.”

And Claire West from the South West Region spoke from the perspective of a clinical learning practitioner and her work promoting the profession to teenagers thinking of going into higher education. She explained, “I can see that we will have problems attracting new students to healthcare professions over other degree courses and vocational careers.”

The SCoR is continuing to work with the other AHP professional bodies and the Council of Deans to share information, intelligence and the concerns that will contribute to our response to the department of health consultation on student bursaries. The Society's response will be published in due course.