Reforming healthcare education funding: creating a sustainable future workforce

Closed 30 Jun 2016

Opened 7 Apr 2016


image of three nurses with study papers

The government announced in the 2015 Spending Review that from 1 August 2017, all new nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students will receive funding and financial support through the standard student support system rather than through the current NHS bursary scheme.

From 1 August 2017, new students will no longer have their course fees paid by Health Education England (nor a bursary provided by the NHS Business Services Authority) but will have access to the standard student support system provided by the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of their tuition fees and means tested support for living costs.

The terms of repayment for the loans will be the same as all other graduates who have taken out a student loan when at university, including those who have studied in order to teach; a profession with comparable earnings to healthcare professionals. At present, repayment starts once a graduate is earning £21,000 and the repayments are 9% of income over £21,000.  

At present, newly qualified nurses earning £21,700 will pay back around £5.25 a month. If their salary drops below £21,000 a year, then their repayments stop. If they haven’t paid back their loan after 30 years the balance is written off, as is the case for all other graduates on the standard student support package.

These changes will affect students on the following courses:

  • nursing – adult
  • nursing – children
  • nursing – mental health
  • nursing – learning and disability
  • midwifery
  • dietetics
  • occupational therapy
  • orthoptics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry/chiropody
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • speech and language therapy
  • operating department practice
  • dental hygiene
  • dental therapy


Why We Are Consulting

We are seeking views on how the proposed reforms on funding and financial support for nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals can be successfully implemented.


  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Allied Health Professionals


  • Primary care
  • Mental health
  • End of life care
  • Maternity services
  • Patient safety
  • Patient care
  • Quality improvement
  • Adult social care
  • Education
  • Training
  • Regulation