New figures show fall in applications to study nursing and midwifery in Sheffield

Nursing and midwifery applications to Sheffield Hallam University has fallen by 22 per cent
Nursing and midwifery applications to Sheffield Hallam University has fallen by 22 per cent
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Applications to study nursing and midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University has fallen by nearly a quarter, according to new figures.

Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield has called on the Government to reverse the cuts to NHS student bursaries as he revealed Hallam applications had dropped by 22 per cent on the previous year.

Speaking after a heated debate in Parliament, Mr Blomfield said the Government were 'adding to the crisis' in the NHS.

He said: “When we debated the issue the then Health Minister, Ben Gummer, told members that the Government wanted to spread to nurses the same benefits that have been realised in the rest of the student population.

"Now some of us expressed scepticism that nurses and midwives would see £50,000 of debt as a benefit. And we warned that these were courses that still provided a route into professional careers from those who were put off university by fees – mature students and others from lower income backgrounds.”

The new loans system for nurses will be introduced in September this year and final numbers for applications for courses were published last week.

The fall in applications a drop reflected across the country, Mr Blomfield said.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Blomfield added: “The Government casually ignored the warnings. Now they’re ignoring the facts. At a time when we desperately need more nurses, there has been a massive drop in applications. The Government are knowingly adding to the crisis in the NHS.”

A Department of Health spokesman previously said the changes were designed to increase the numbers in training and would mean students could access greater financial support in the form of loans, but he urged the profession to submit concerns to the consultation on the changes.

"We need more home-grown nurses so the NHS doesn't have to rely on expensive agency staff or overseas nurses," they said.

The University of Sheffield is due to start a undergraduate nursing course in September 2017 so they do not have any comparable data.