officer blog

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sophie atherton

campaigns & democracy
s.atherton@uea.ac.uk

nursing transport update

Hi everyone, I wanted to do a quick update on what we are doing around transport for nurses! This has come up on our ideas platform recently here so it’s important I let you know what’s happening on our end. UEASU has been working behind the scenes to improve the transport experience of Nursing students, as well as other students within the School of Health Sciences. We’re beginning to see our efforts pay off, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Working with other Students’ Unions through the NUS, we’ve successfully pushed for the Government to reintroduce the NHS Bursary for Nursing and Allied Health students. They welcome this move forward. This means there’ll be £5000 per year available for students to put towards the cost of their courses, including transport and placement accommodation, as well as additional funding for those on ‘priority courses’ (such as Mental Health Nursing) and those with childcare commitments.

Whilst we celebrate this change on a national level, we know that more can be done at UEA. A member of the Students Union now attends the Placement Allocations meetings, and we continually seek students’ feedback to ensure our voice is used effectively. Whilst we are conscious that the University is constrained by the availability of practice placements and access to practice educators, we will always seek to ensure that students receive the fairest balance of placements with the resources on offer. There have been some discussions within the school around supporting students on placement and as soon as we know more, we’ll make sure you do as well.

On placement transport specifically, the university is currently looking at ways to make this easier for all HSC students, balancing the volume of student nurses with the geographical spread of other Allied Health students. The Students Union will continue to lobby for transport to be provided for nursing students, whilst ensuring that other courses in HSC do not lose out as a result. We appreciate that the NHS do not fund transport for nursing students in the way that it does for medics, and that the shift patterns of HSC students may not be as amenable as those of medics for organising busses, but we will continue to lobby for a fair provision which improves the experience of all Nursing and HSC students.

I hope this gives nursing students and students supporting them in solidarity reassurance that work is being done and we are keen to see further positive changes within HSC to make this work. If you want to have a chat or have any ideas about how this can be done, please drop me an email at s.atherton@uea.ac.uk or come and find me in the office.

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