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Student nurses now able to claim 50% more for placement travel costs

Student nurses now able to claim 50% more for placement travel costs

Nursing students will now be able to claim 50% more for travel and accommodation expenses incurred during clinical placements, as part of a move which the government says will mean students are ‘appropriately reimbursed’.

Eligible students on nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, medical and dental courses in England will benefit from the increase which will begin from today, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced this morning.

The change means that travel in or on a student’s own motor vehicle will rise from 28p per mile to 42p.

According to the government’s calculations, this will mean a student who travels 1,000 miles by car or motorcycle during their clinical placement will now receive £420, up from £280.

And travel on a student’s own pedal cycle will increase from 20p to 30p per mile to cover costs for ‘general maintenance and wear and tear’.

Meanwhile, rates for commercial accommodation such as a hotel or bed and breakfast will rise from £55 to up to £82.50 per night and non-commercial accommodation, such as staying with a friend or relative, excluding parents, will increase from £25 to £37.50 per night.

Minister of state for health Will Quince said: ‘Working in the NHS is incredibly rewarding and we want to ensure a diverse range of students can pursue a career in nursing, midwifery or medicine.’

He said the government had ‘therefore listened to students’ concerns and are taking action to ensure they are appropriately reimbursed for any additional costs of travelling for clinical placements’.

The move comes after commitments made in the long-awaited NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which included pledges to increase nursing training places by 80% in England, to more than 53,500 by 2031/32.

‘Ahead of the biggest ever expansion of education and training places as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, this will help to support the next generation of NHS staff in their training,’ added Mr Quince.

Responding to the news, Royal College of Nursing deputy director for nursing, Dr Nichola Ashby, said: ‘We have been campaigning on this and it is an important step in improving nursing students’ ability to afford to fulfil their placements, but more radical changes are needed to address the shortage of nursing students.’

She pointed to the recent decline in nursing students being accepted onto degree courses and urged the government to ‘remove the burden of student debt and tuition fees from prospective nurses, and better pay those in the profession’.

Dr Ashby added: ‘These changes must be made if the NHS workforce plan is to deliver the nursing staff needed for the NHS and social care.’

Meanwhile, a spokesperson at the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), said: ‘It is good to see an increase in the financial support being offered by government.

‘Student nurses undertaking community placements incur significant expenses, particularly travel, so their education depends on having fair and realistic support.

‘Addressing these “pinch points” in the education system is absolutely necessary if we are to build a healthcare workforce with the necessary capacity and skills.’


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