Vaughan Gething, the Minister for Health and Social Services, has agreed to extend the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme. The scheme will remain in place for individuals electing to study an eligible healthcare-related programme in Wales commencing in the academic year 2020/2021.
While the bursary – for eligible student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals – was withdrawn in England in 2017, the full package will continue to be available in Wales for those who commit to working in Wales for up to two years after qualifying.
Today’s announcement provides certainty about bursary arrangements until 2021 to both students and providers to enable them to plan for their future.
This extension will enable significant stakeholder engagement to take place over the coming months, building on the consultation which took place last year. It will also allow the Minister to make fully informed decisions about the future arrangements for the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme. If you wish to be kept updated on the upcoming engagement activities please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bursary supports the priorities outlined in the Tackling Poverty Action Plan, by opening up a career within the NHS to those who might otherwise be unable to fund their studies or related expenses such as childcare. The scheme also enables individuals to assist with service provision during training, meaning they can build on their skills and knowledge in supporting patients during what can be their most vulnerable times.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“In Wales we are committed to investing in the training of our nurses, midwives and other highly skilled professionals working in our NHS. By extending this support package, I want to demonstrate how much we value our healthcare workforce and are committed to supporting them through their studies.
We’re also taking positive action to attract more health professionals from other parts of the UK and beyond through our ‘This is Wales – Train, Work, Live’ marketing campaign which sets out what Wales has to offer. I will now be looking at what longer-term arrangements can be put in place as we continue to develop our workforce.”
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, added:
“The extension of the bursary in Wales is great news and will help attract and keep skilled professionals in Wales after studying here. The bursary compliments our improved student finance package, the most generous in the UK.”