The King’s Fund responds to government’s student nurse grants announcement

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This morning the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care gave a speech in which he confirmed plans to offer financial support for nursing students.

Commenting on the announcement, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

'The rapid introduction of maintenance grants for student nurses is a welcome early sign that the new government intends to tackle the chronic staff shortages that bedevil the NHS and social care. The measure should help address the financial problems that lead many student nurses to drop out of training and incentivise applicants in shortage occupations such as learning disability nursing.

‘Initiatives to recruit more home-grown nurses are just one piece of the puzzle. The immediate crisis is so severe that new nurses will also need to be ethically recruited from overseas.

‘As well as attracting new staff, it will be equally important to keep hold of existing employees. The Secretary of State today set out his ambition for a more compassionate and supportive culture. He and his national bodies have a responsibility to support NHS managers by modelling those behaviours.’

Notes to editors

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In March 2019 The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation published a series of recommendations for tackling staff shortages, including the introduction of maintenance grants for student nurses. The full report is available here.

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.