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Student Work Placements

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many university students his Department and associated agencies have supported or sponsored with a work placement in the last year; what his policy is on work placements; what plans he has to develop such schemes; and what his policy is on paying their university fees. [98532]

The Department supported nine undergraduate students in 2002–03 through the Windsor Fellowship Organisation—funded centrally. The Department only keeps records of centrally organised programmes and so there are no records held on ad-hoc work placement sponsorship. The information is shown in the table.

Agency

Number of student sponsored in the last year

NHS Pensions Agency0
NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency0
NHS Estates Agency2
Medicines Device Agency0
Medicines Control Agency0

For the national health service, medical undergraduates undertake placements in a clinical setting during the third to fifth years of their degree courses. The Department reimburses NHS organisations for the additional costs they incur in providing such placements, of which there were 11,400 in 2001–02.

The NHS does not collect information on when NHS non-medical pre-registration students undertake their practice placements. As a general rule, NHS students are required to undertake practice placements which account for approximately 50 per cent. of the university course and these are unpaid.

All pre-registration non-medical NHS students have their personal tuition fee met from departmental funds. Course tuition fees are also met by work force development confederations through the contracts they hold with universities.

In the 2001–02 financial year, the number of preregistration nursing and midwifery students was 54,313 and the number of pre-registration allied health profession, dental hygienist and dental therapist students was 15,178.