University of East Anglia paramedic students call for 'fair' expenses

Emily Snow Image copyright Emily Snow
Image caption Emily Snow said not being allowed expenses was an "unequal and unfair decision"

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for paramedic students to get the same NHS help available to those on nursing and midwifery courses.

University of East Anglia (UEA) paramedic students are not entitled to expenses when they go on work placements - worth about £2,000 a year.

This can put a strain on those on placements for ambulances services away from Norwich, the student union said.

The Department of Health said it was reviewing the support available.

The UEA's Students' Union and Paramedic Society have started an online petition, so far signed by more than 600, calling for Paramedic Science students to be eligible to apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund.

Emily Snow, the president of the Paramedic Society, said the decision to exclude paramedic students from the support for travel and accommodation expenses "seems an unequal and unfair decision".

"The impact on students having to come up with the money is significant and helps exclude so many from becoming good paramedic students," she said.

If paramedic students are able to apply for expenses they may be able to claim back up to £2,281 a year (during the three year course).

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "Our dedicated paramedics work tirelessly everyday to provide lifesaving care to patients and it is important that future NHS staff feel fully supported from day one of their training.

"We are working with Health Education England to consider the implications of the current financial provision and review the support available to paramedics in training from 2020."

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