Show me the money: government increases support for affordable healthcare studies

Eligible healthcare students will be able to claim 50% more for travel and accommodation expenses while students from low-income families will be given additional funds.

Last Friday the government announced they would be giving more funding to health students enrolled in nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, and medical and dental courses, to help them pay for travel and accommodation costs.

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An example of this is a student who travels 1,000 miles by car or motorcycle during their placement will now receive £420 compared to £280 under the previous rates.

In addition to travel costs being covered, if students are required to stay in a hotel for their placement costs are expected to rise from £55 up to £82.50 per night. Non-commercial accommodation is also included – if students stay with a relative that isn’t their parents or a friends – costs rise from £25 up to £37.50 per night.

Alongside this, the government also plans to increase the means testing threshold for the NHS Bursary Scheme, which would raise the amount a student’s parent or partner can earn before they are eligible for financial support. This would increase from 24,279 to £26,076.

‘Working in the NHS is incredibly rewarding and we want to ensure a diverse range of students can pursue a career in nursing, midwifery or medicine,’ Will Quince, Minister of State for Health, said. ‘We have therefore listened to students’ concerns and are taking action to ensure they are appropriately reimbursed for any additional costs of travelling for clinical placements, as well as boosting means tested and childcare support for medical students.’

Mr Quince added: ‘Ahead of the biggest ever expansion of education and training places as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, this will help to support the next generation of NHS staff in their training.’

News of the increased amount of funding provided by the government for healthcare students has come on top of existing support including a non-repayable training grant for eligible nursing, midwifery, and allied health professional students of £5000 per academic year.

The changes are due to come into effect immediately in time for the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

Image: Josh Appel

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