Emma Harper MSP believes the news, announced by the First Minister last Monday, that the Scottish Government will increase the bursary for nursing and midwifery students to £10,000 will significantly benefit the south west.


All eligible students, who currently receive £6,578, will benefit from an interim increase to £8,100 in 2019/20, rising to £10,000 in 2020/21. The rise will help cover accommodation and living expenses during their studies.


Additionally, care experienced students will move to £8,100 this financial year, an increase of £1,522.


Nicola Sturgeon, addressing the SNP Conference in Glasgow, said in Scotland “we know the value of our nurses. We know the value of our NHS.”


Emma Harper MSP commented:


“This is fantastic news for the NHS in Scotland, but particularly the South West where we have ten hospitals across Dumfries & Galloway. Out with the hospitals we also have many nurses in mental health practice and district and community nursing roles working across the region.


“Thanks to the Scottish Government there are now more qualified nurses and midwives, and with these improved bursaries those numbers will continue to rise.

According to the SHOW – Scottish Health on the Web – site the number of vacancies posted for Registered Nurses and Health Visitors at Band 5 or 6 level across Dumfries and Galloway is currently numbered at 17.

“I am looking forward to seeing these vacancies being filled as the bursary increase aims to support recruitment in to nursing courses at our local University, the University of West of Scotland based at Crichton campus”.

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