Student nurses died of COVID-19. Now others who risked their lives are being cast aside – some without being able to complete their course
Student nurses who converted their last term of study in order to work – and risk their lives – on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus are being cast aside now that the authorities think their services are no longer needed.
The government asked students to step forward to increase NHS capacity when they virus ws spreading rapidly, but a coldly-worded letter has been sent informing students that they are being made unemployed in around six weeks’ time:
The letter says that the date will allow ‘most’ students to complete their ‘required hours’ and have a final assessment. However, no provisions have been made for any students who won’t have enough hours by 31 August to complete their time and be assessed:
Placements Update: BSc Nursing students
thank you for your patience in waiting for information about placements. As the Covid 19 pandemic has continued the workforce needs of the NHS have changed and we have been discussing this with the NHS and Health Education England (HEE).
Students on enhanced (paid placements): We have now had final confirmation that the 31 st of July 2020 will be the end date for all students on paid placements in all placement areas. Bringing the end of placement date forward will help the NHS to reconfigure for routine services, enable your programmes to start returning to normal and allow more time for you to complete assessments. You will therefore be on reading weeks until the end of this academic year.
The end date of the 31st July 2020 will provide enough time for most students to complete the required hours for the placement and have a final assessment. However, if you started placement later than your colleagues for any reason you will be able to stay on placement to complete a maximum of 12 weeks from your placement start date or up to 31 st August whichever is sooner. After the 31st of August all paid placements will stop.“whichever is sooner. After the 31st of August all paid placements will stop” – if a student hasn’t completed enough hours by then, tough.
The HR department at your placement will be in contact with you about changes to your contract including holiday entitlement.
Unite’s assistant general secretary Howard Beckett has described the ‘disgusting’ move as a ‘kick in the teeth for people who risk their lives for us’.
Health Education England, the body behind the move, was created in the Tories’ 2012 NHS ‘reforms’ and is part of the Department of Health and Social Care.
Student nurses answered the government’s call. Now, thanks to the Tory government, some could now find themselves having to repeat a year before they can complete their qualification, while more still will find themselves unemployed.
Disgusting is the word.
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