HC Deb 15 November 2001 vol 374 cc850-1W
Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what grants are available to student nurses on(a) diploma and (b) degree courses. [14141]

Mr. Hutton

National health service bursaries are available to those accepted onto NHS-funded preregistration nurse training programmes at both diploma and degree levels.

Those undertaking the diploma-level qualification receive a non-means tested bursary (currently £5,305 (£6,232 in London)), while those on the degree-level programme receive a means tested bursary (current rate £2,098 (£2,578 in London)) and student loan. Degree-level students receive additional payments to take account of the longer length of academic year undertaken by health professional students and for both groups additional allowances are available to older students, single parents and others with dependants.

In addition the NHS meets all students' liability for a tuition fee contribution (currently £1,075) on their behalf, in full and without means testing.

With effect from September the basic bursaries were increased by 10.4 per cent. coupled with a 2.4 per cent. inflation increase in the additional allowances and other elements of the bursary scheme. This is the biggest increase since the introduction of the bursary more than 10 years ago.

Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements exist to help student nurses complete their courses in the event of financial hardship. [14142]

Mr. Hutton

National health service-funded students studying at degree-level who have taken out their full entitlement to a bursary and loan and who find themselves in financial difficulty can apply through their university/college for additional help in the form of hardship loans. Degree-level students who have exhausted all other sources of financial help may, in exceptional circumstances be eligible for an NHS hardship grant.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced on 4 October 2001 that there would be a review of student funding policy, to include consideration of hardship support. The Department will consider the findings of the review in relation to NHS-funded students.

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