HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 c1216W
Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve the help available to student(a) nurses and (b) midwives in financial hardship. [68154]

Mr. Hutton

The Government is confident that the National Health Service bursary scheme continues to provide satisfactory support for the great majority of students. At the same time we recognise that there are undoubtedly individual cases of hardship, and work is continuing to ensure we address any specific weaknesses in the support arrangements.

The Government is increasing the financial support provided for all health professional students through the NHS bursary scheme (including trainee nurses and midwives), both in terms of the basic bursary and other elements of the package. This will help ensure that as few a students as possible experience financial difficulties during their training.

The overall level of additional support available to those studying at degree level, through higher education (HE) access and hardship funds (funded by the Department for Education and Skills) in 2001–02 is £93 million, over four times that provided in 1997–98.

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