University welcomes new grants for health care students

University welcomes new grants for health care students

The University of Cumbria welcomed the government's announcement today of new grants for health care students.

From September 2020, all those studying nursing, midwifery and many allied health professions will qualify for an annual grant of at least £5,000 with more available to students with children and those studying specialist disciplines where recruitment has been challenging.

The funding will come in addition to standard student support and will be made available to those already on these programmes as well as new students.

This means that some students could be eligible for up to £8,000 in total support per year with everyone getting at least £5,000. The funding will not have to be repaid by recipients.

This funding will be available from September 2020, with further details on who can access the support in early 2020.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson is Pro Vice Chancellor Health at the University of Cumbria.

He is also Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, which represents UK university faculties engaged in education for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions.

Commenting on the news, he said:

“I am delighted with the introduction of these new measures that will help support an increase in student numbers.

“The additional financial support announced today will help attract good applicants to these professions, signal their importance to the health and social care sector and more importantly will provide vital support to help students through their studies".

“This news comes as the University of Cumbria launched its new Institute of Health to tackle the ongoing staffing crisis in the NHS with a dual purpose of recruiting more staff to Cumbria as well as upskilling and retaining the current workforce.

“This new announcement will only benefit our shared cause.”

Current estimates suggest there are around 40,000 registered nurse vacancies and further shortages in a growing number of specialisms including occupational therapy, diagnostic radiography, midwifery and a range of other healthcare roles.

The additional £3,000 funding will be available for:

  • specialist disciplines that struggle to recruit including mental health and learning disability nursing,
  • an additional childcare allowance to help students balance their studies with family life, on top of the £1,000 already on offer.
  • areas of the country which have seen a decrease in people accepted onto some nursing, midwifery and allied health courses over the past year.

The university offers specialist nursing courses mentioned in this announcement - learning disability and mental health – both of which have produced a plethora of exceptional students now working in practice.

Former Nursing Times student nurse of the year, Diana Heyes, overcame domestic violence to specialise in learning disability nursing inspired by her own children’s experience of autism.

Derrick Tyson moved on from a successful military career, opting instead for mental health nursing after his interest had been peaked during training for deployment.

Anyone interested in a health care career can take a look at the university’s website.