Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (630, 631)

Chris Andrews

Question:

630. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Health the supports that will be put in place for student nurses who have had their placements cancelled due to Covid-19 but have been informed they cannot move on to the next year of their studies until they complete their placements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2771/21]

View answer

Chris Andrews

Question:

631. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Health if he will intervene in the case of student nurses who have paid for accommodation while they are on placements but have been informed that their placements have been cancelled due to Covid-19 and are unable to obtain a refund. [2772/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 630 and 631 together.

Due to the current surge of COVID-19, clinical placements for nursing and midwifery students have been suspended for a period of at least two weeks from 18 January 2021. I regret that this necessary decision to suspend placements will cause an unavoidable , temporary delay and inconvenience for many nursing and midwifery students. The impact of this decision varies across the different groups of students affected. The solutions therefore will vary according to, for example, the year and stage of training the students are at and the clinical placements they were undertaking.

My Department is now working together with the HSE, the Higher Education Institutes, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and Clinical Partners to ensure that students will not be disadvantaged in terms of completing their educational programmes on time. Furthermore, I want to ensure that the academic solutions offered to each group of students affected by the suspension of placements for the two week period, will contribute to the integrity of the educational programme and therefore will not require students to pay back the time lost in order to progress to the next stage.

Those students who may have incurred travel or accommodation expenses for this period will still be able to avail of the relevant allowances in the usual manner.