Nursing and midwifery student update – January 5th 2021

We are aware that the re-introduction of lockdowns across the UK is causing increased anxiety for students, particularly those struggling to learn online or juggling childcare needs – as well as those needing to shield or on placement this January and beyond.

As students we are collectively mindful that nursing teams in many areas are fatigued. Staff shortages, a long-standing issue, are also now being exacerbated.

As UNISON National Student Nurse lead, I just want to update my peers that currently there are no plans to remove nursing and midwifery students’ supernumerary status and that placement learning can continue. This situation is being closely monitored and we are reporting concerns to health leaders.

We know there are particular concerns for those who have been advised to shield and this may have an impact on your progress. UNISON is raising these concerns and advocating on your behalf. Please engage with your University and union and keep up to date with University and your local organisation’s policies.

If you find your placement learning experience is being affected in any way, please communicate concerns with your tutors immediately and enable them to intervene / offer advice in the first instance. UNISON is also here for you via your local branches, our organisers, and our student network.

For detail on COVID-19 life assurance protections speak with your university about the arrangements in your part of the UK. Students should get access to vaccination against COVID-19 alongside colleagues in the NHS when on placement and the vaccine is available.

We remain completely opposed to health students in England paying tuition fees and are continuing to call on Government to waive fees and provide better financial support.

We continue to monitor events closely and remain in close communication with health leaders. We want to ensure you feel listened to and have a voice. If you have ongoing or new concerns, please do share them online and talk to your local UNISON branch so we can advocate these on your behalf with our health leaders.

Joy O’ Gorman – UNISON National Student Nurse Lead
Stuart Tuckwood – UNISON National Officer for Nursing