100 mn pounds loss as British student nurses dropping out

August 21st, 2011 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 21 (IANS) A considerable number of trainee nurses in Britain are dropping out before finishing due to lack of funds, causing an estimated wastage of over 100 million pounds of taxpayers’ money.

New research has found that about 28 percent of trainees are dropping out.

The money, spent on course fees and bursaries made to undergraduates while they study, is a conservative estimate, since it assumes most leave in the first year, Daily Express reported.

The figures have come from Freedom of Information requests across the 70 universities that run nursing courses in Britain.

According to Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, it is a “shocking waste of public money”.

“It is unacceptable so many nurses are dropping out. Nurses are not given the assistance they need in what is a very demanding, stressful and high pressure course. They need easy access to finance and better support,” said Carter.

Scotland has the highest drop-out rate (30 percent), England (28 per cent), Wales (13 percent) and Northern Ireland (16 percent).

Emma Boon, campaign director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has appealed to the government to look at the reason behind student nurses leaving the profession.

She said: “There will always be a few drop-outs but it is vital student nurses deliver value for taxpayers’ money. It is worrying so many are falling by the wayside.”

Last month, in a report by workforce expert James Buchan at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, warned hospitals were facing their “greatest challenge for a generation” and could lose nearly 100,000 nurses over the next decade.

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