A few constituents have sent me identical campaign emails about EDM 948 and changes to the health education system.
Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (AHPs) are vital to our NHS, and so everybody with the qualifications and commitment to undertake these degrees should have the chance to do so. The current system prevents this, as the cost of training nurses, midwives and AHPs is largely borne by the NHS. This has effectively meant that there has been an artificial cap on the numbers in training, limited to only those numbers needed as a minimum to meet NHS workforce requirements in line with Health Education England's annual workforce plan.
These limits currently prevent two in every three people who want to be a nurse from doing so. The Government is committed to increasing the number of training places for home-grown nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, with those in training getting around 25 per cent more financial support while they study. This is a huge advantage to the NHS, which has had to rely on expensive agency nurses and staff from overseas in order to compensate for a lack of UK-trained professionals.
In order to deliver more nurses and health professionals for the NHS, a better funding system for health students and a more sustainable model for universities, it is necessary to move health students' grants and bursaries onto the standard student support system - in line with all other degrees. This will not affect existing students. This change will be introduced for new students only from August this year.
The Government recognises that nursing students in particular often have unique circumstances. Following a consultation on these reforms, the Government will be providing extra funding to help cover additional expenses like travel and more support for students with children. Ministers will work with the Royal College of Nursing, hospitals and other partners in taking this forward.

These changes will also create up to 10,000 more training places by the end of this Parliament, and the Government is also running a campaign to get experienced nurses back to work.

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