Court ruling reinstates bursaries for pregnant nurses and midwives

Student nurses and midwives will no longer lose their NHS bursaries if they interrupt courses to take maternity leave, the government has announced.

The policy change followed the ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in June that the withdrawal of the bursaries before and after childbirth was a form of sex discrimination.

Students will now keep the bursaries – worth £6,800 a year in London and £5,000 outside – for up to 45 weeks during pregnancy and maternity leave, Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, said yesterday.

About 500 prospective nurses and midwives a year are expected to benefit.

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