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Health Professions: Training

Department of Health written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reduction in the number of applications by students in England for nursing and midwifery courses at British universities beginning in 2017 compared to courses beginning in 2016 reported by UCAS; and whether, in the light of the smaller reduction in such applications in Scotland and Wales where bursaries are available, they intend to reconsider the decision to abolish NHS bursaries.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

At this stage of the application cycle, based on the data the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service published on 2 February, Health Education England is confident that the National Health Service will be able to fill the number of nursing and midwifery places in England.

The intention of the reforms in England is to boost participation and secure the future supply of home-grown nurses to the NHS. They will also enable universities to create additional nursing, midwifery and allied health professional university training places in this Parliament.

Students will see an increase in the amount of living cost support they have in hand when studying. We can build on the success of the wider higher education system and support students from all backgrounds pursue their chosen health career, as well as amending access rules for those who already have a degree. More widely, we are focusing on the needs of the profession by continuing to develop options which allow a number of routes into the workforce.

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