#LiveableNHSBursary Medical School Recommendations

The #LiveableNHSBursary is a cause that we are more than happy to support and we will soon be posting details of the game in August that we are playing to raise awareness of this cause. In the meantime this information posted by one the founders @thegradmedic is well worth a read and a share.

Twitter Thread

The #LiveableNHSBursary is governments fault, and governments responsibility to fix. However; we have come up with a list of recommendations for medical schools.

  1. Not to limit the hours in which students can work. Instead to identify students and offer targeted pastoral support should they need it. Remind placement providers that leaving for work is a necessity for some students, not a choice, and not because they’re not interested.
  2. To liaise with hospitals to provide a bank of 0 hour jobs that are flexi around med school. All fifth year students can take bloods etc yet there is an unnecessary amount of difficulty trying to access eg phlebotomy jobs. We should be expedited through employment processes.
  3. To provide timetables within a reasonable time frame so students can organise working hours. To provide consistency where there are days off in the timetable, so students can commit and be eligible for more part time roles.
  4. As I have alluded to in my most recent thread, it is taking around ~3 months to get expenses back. Universities have the means to provide a loan system as they are responsible for sending off the TDAE forms and approving them – no extra verification would be needed.
  5. Practical advice on how to apply for NHS bursary, when to, but also on ‘tips and tricks’ – there is a little known loophole for students that often qualify for independent for student finance but not for nhs bursary, this needs to be shared. I’ve got some people £1000s more.
  6. To provide a seperate hardship fund. Medical students are uniquely affected by the NHS bursary and being thrown to be assessed in with students that have entirely different systems isn’t appropriate when so many med students are struggling. What’s more, is the process of having to send three months worth of bank statements in and highlighting anything over £50, is soul destroying. It is unnecessary when we can very clearly prove that the maximum NHS bursary doesn’t cover the minimum cost of living.
  7. Within this, to stop banning students from applying to other bursaries and grants within the university just because they are NHS bursary students. It isn’t appropriate.
  8. To include extremely clear information about the funding issues and state on admissions pages that practically this means students need to have access to external funding whether that is through part time work, relatives, or savings.
  9. For students that cannot afford nhs bursary years there is poverty of opportunity in terms of access to conferences, so ensure your reimbursement are full reimbursements for these students rather than partial.
  10. Organise an open meeting with students to ask specific challenges in this area, to provide a safe space and point of contact to talk to and to generally open up conversations.
  11. Getting research into this area is difficult and the BMAs reach can be limited, med schools collecting their own data on how deep this problem is going could be really useful to the campaign but also to the university themselves. We deeply encourage this.