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Wes takes on ministers over plans to plunge student nurses and midwives into £50k debts

Wes has taken on ministers over plans in the autumn statement that would leave nurses and midwives with debts of more than £50,000.

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With just a few lines in the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced the biggest shake up in the funding of nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects since the Health Services and Public Health Act of 1968. The Chancellor is passing on the full cost of training to these essential frontline staff for the first time.

Leading his first adjournment debate in the House of Commons, Wes relayed the anger of the nursing and midwifery professions at the government's plans to charge student nurses and midwives - and students of allied health subjects - tuition fees of over £9,000 per year. The government also plans to take away non-repayable grants and bursaries for these NHS trainees and replace them with student loans. As a result of these plans, nurses, midwives and other NHS staff will be left with debts of at least £51,600. You can watch Wes in action here.

Wes says:

"I led a debate in the House of Commons for the first time - on financial support for student nurses and midwives. I'm appalled that the Chancellor chose to sneak these changes out in the Autumn Statement, hoping the bad news would be buried. I challenged the Minister on both the principles and detail of these changes. 

"I hope I did the student nurses and midwives who contacted me proud. I'm grateful to all the individuals and organisations who wrote to me - especially to Unison and the National Union of Students for their assistance in putting my argument together."

At Business, Innovation and Skills Questions later that week, Wes asked the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, to guarantee a full parliamentary debate and vote before any changes took place, but he refused to do so.

You can read a range of reports about these issue:

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published this page in News 2015-12-27 18:06:42 +0000

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