UNISON is calling on nurses and healthcare professionals across the NHS to celebrate Nurses' Day on 12th May by posting a selfie on social media, explaining why the NHS bursary is so important to them.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, plans to scrap the bursary in controversial plans that could lead to future staffing problems in hospitals and in the community.
To take your selfie, download, print and write on your speech bubble, then post it on facebook or twitter with #bursaryorbust hashtag.
The Student Bursary is a keystone of our NHS’s future. It enables people from all walks of life to commit to the training to become one of the 500,000+ nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals of tomorrow required to keep our NHS running. That is why when George Osborne announced the end of NHS Bursaries from 2017 it was not just an attack on those who may one day wish to train to become a registered NHS professional. It was an attack on our NHS.
From August 2017 health students will be faced with graduation debts of over £51k. They will work for the NHS for half the year in unpaid placements, and most will start employment on a salary of £28k pa or less. Inevitably fewer people will be attracted to a career in nursing, midwifery and allied health professional roles. As a result our NHS will become even more dependent on expensive agency staff and overseas recruitment to keep our NHS hospital and community services running.