To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the combined impact on NHS retention levels of (1) the rising cost of living, and (2) the increasing numbers of new nurses needing to start paying back student-funded tuition fees.
25 April 2022
This year, the Government is looking to the independent pay review body for recommendations on pay for National Health Service staff. Retention is a factor considered by the pay review body when making its recommendation, in addition to the cost of living and value for the taxpayer. The Government will consider the recommendations when received.
No specific assessment has been made of the impact of nurses paying back student loans on NHS retention levels. In 2017, nursing students became eligible for the standard student finance package rather than receiving an NHS bursary. The tuition fee and student loan system in England is designed to ensure that those who benefit financially from higher education make a fair contribution towards its cost. Repayments are linked to earnings and monthly repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the relevant student loan repayment threshold. No repayments are required when borrowers are earning below the relevant repayment amount. Any outstanding debt, including interest accrued, is written off after the loan terms ends with no detriment to the borrower.