Crippling lack of cash

November 18, 2005

The National Health Service Student Grants Unit has not yet paid childcare allowances or dependants' allowances to huge numbers of student nurses despite being under a legal obligation to do so.

These allowances are in addition to the basic student nurse bursary. As student nurses work shifts while on clinical placement, holding down regular part-time work can be difficult, particularly if a student has dependants. In many cases these payments are months behind schedule, causing crippling financial hardship to many. Somestudent nurses have had to withdraw from their clinical placements owing to their inability to pay childminders.

We are told that the UK is desperately short of nurses and that the Government is eager to train more. The civil servants in charge of this mess should have their salaries withdrawn for three months to see how well they cope.

John Hedges

Via e-mail

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