Tory health minister Helen Whately has told an MP that student nurses who have been risking their lives on the front line of the coronavirus battle are not ‘providing a service’ – and that therefore there are no plans to give them the £5,000 bursary the Tories say they are going to re-introduce after abolishing it in in 2017.
The Tories say that the bursary:
will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing, midwifery and many allied health students from September 2020
But the thousands of final-year student nurses who answered the government’s call to serve on the coronavirus front line will not receive the funds.
Whately made this clear in her response to a letter from fellow Tory MP Tom Pursglove, who asked whether the government would backdate the payment for nurses who have completed courses – which includes all those who have been working in hospitals during the pandemic. Whately made it clear that no, those nurses will be left to pay off student debts of up to £60,000 without even the pittance of the £5,000 bursary – because they “are not deemed to be providing a service”:
Last week, the Tories issued another slap in the face for those same nurses when they announced that those who converted their final months of study into front-line work during the crisis will be made unemployed from 1 August – and any who haven’t been able to complete their course requirements by the end of August will be unable to qualify.
Helen Whately has been captured on video laughing as Piers Morgan read out a headline about thousands of COVID-19 deaths in care homes – and laughing as a colleague made a sick ‘joke’ about slavery in the House of Commons:
Judging by their treatment of student nurses, Ms Whately merely typifies the entire Tory government.
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