News ID: 134681
Published: 0843 GMT January 09, 2016

Student nurses, midwives protest grant cut

Student nurses, midwives protest grant cut

British student nurses and midwives have gone on a nation-wide march to protest against the government’s plans to replace their bursaries with loans.

The protests have been held in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

The demonstrators argue that the planned cuts are disappointing and will prevent many talented students from considering a career in nursery and midwifery.

“This is a change that has huge implications for both our student midwife members and an already understaffed maternity service. Currently, we have a diverse body of students who come from all walks of life: many are mature, not school leavers, who already have substantial caring and financial commitments. They will be particularly hit hard,” the Guardian quoted Carmel Lloyd, the head of College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives as saying on Saturday.

“These government plans are appalling and will undoubtedly deter many committed and talented people from considering a career in midwifery. The RCM is extremely disappointed that the government did not seek advice or consult with us prior to making this decision,” he reiterated.

The plans to axe student bursaries were announced during George Osborne’s spending review in November.

They come as part of spending cuts aimed at containing Britain’s budget deficit.

British authorities say changing NHS bursaries to loans would save £800m a year.

NHS budget shortfall

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has already been facing an almost £1 billion deficit, the worst financial position in a generation.

NHS trusts in England racked up a £930mn deficit in the first three months of the fiscal year (starting on April 6).

That’s according to the figures published by health regulators Monitor and the Trust Development Authority.

Now, medical experts are warning that the NHS is “under massive pressure” and cannot afford to go on as it is any longer.

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