POLITICS

Student Nurse Bursaries May Be Stopped Under Plans Considered By George Osborne

21/11/2015 13:00 GMT | Updated 21/11/2015 13:00 GMT

George Osborne is considering axing student nurses' bursaries.

Under plans which could be announced in the Chancellor's spending review next Wednesday, those studying would have to take out loans to pay their fees, reports the Guardian.

The move could free up £826 million.

Janet Davies, general secretary and chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Anything that makes people worse off and puts people off from becoming nurses, and reduces the link between student nurses and the NHS, would be a big loss to our society and put us in a precarious position."

Axing bursaries would prove unpopular at a time when the Government are already under fire over junior doctor's contracts.

Thousands voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes over the bitter row.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said 98% voted in favour of strikes, with 2% against and 11 spoilt ballot papers.

More than 37,000 doctors were balloted by the BMA, and 76% took part in the vote.

Asked if they were prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike, 28,120 (99.4% of the vote) said yes.

Asked if they were prepared to take part in strike action, 27,741 voted yes (98% of the vote) and 564 voted no (2%).

The BMA said it was still keen to avoid strike action and had approached the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) for talks with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS Employers, which is running negotiations for the Government.

If a strike goes ahead, doctors will take action over three days, providing emergency care only for 24 hours from 8am on December 1, followed by full walkouts from 8am to 5pm on December 8 and 16.

There is expected to be mass disruption to the NHS, with hospitals forced to cancel outpatient clinics and non-urgent operations.

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