John Healey has won a campaign to see student nurses paid while working on the Covid frontline in hospitals.

In November, he called on the government to pay students on placements, as they did in the first wave of the pandemic.

On 13 January the Health Secretary wrote to the Nursing and Midwifery Council asking them to reintroduce emergency standards, which allow final year student nurses to opt-in to paid placements. They were withdrawn in September 2020.

Mr Healey welcomed the move but has written to the Health Secretary urging him to backdate payments so no student who has worked in hospital through the pandemic misses out.

He said: 

“The great pressure on hospitals has been there for a number of weeks and throughout that time students have played a key role on the frontline in hospitals, including dealing with the most seriously ill Covid patients.

“These students should not lose out. They have worked no less hard and have been no less committed than students who went before them, and will follow them.

“Any payments for students working on the frontline in hospitals during the pandemic should be backdated to the beginning of their placement.

“These students are tomorrow’s nurses and they must feel the huge contribution they have made to the NHS’s Covid response is valued, respected and rewarded.”

In December, Mr Healey held a Zoom call with student nurses (pictured) in which they explained they work on full-time placements for half the year and described the financial difficulties of undertaking nursing training.