The Advice & Money Team explain how the NHS Clinical Placement Travel Costs have changed and what that means to you …
We can’t believe it either, but the NHS has changed the way that help with placement travel costs is worked out for new NHS funded students. The Advice & Money Team has been receiving enquiries from students affected by this change, who are concerned about paying for placement travel costs. We explain more about the change, who is likely to be affected and what other help may be available …
If you qualify for any amount of NHS Bursary you would normally expect to get help with placement travel costs. However, the changes to how the NHS calculate this help means that you may get less help than you were planning on.
Who is going to be affected by the change?
If you are a new NHS funded student starting a course from September 2014 you come under these new rules and may be affected.
- If you live in Cardiff while studying you are unlikely to be disadvantaged by the change.
- If you live outside of Cardiff while studying, and you normally commute to attend your course, then you will be affected by this change.
What is the change?
Help with placement travel costs is now based on;
The cost of return travel from your normal term-time address to the placement location LESS
the cost of the normal return journey from your term-time address to Cardiff and back
Therefore, the further you live away from Cardiff while studying the more likely it is that you either won’t get any help with placement travel costs or you will only get some help.
Here are a few examples of what this means
If you live in Merthyr and you have a placement at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
Merthyr to Cardiff by train = £7.70 day return
Merthyr to Newport by train = £10.50 day return
Help with placement travel cost = £10.50 LESS £7.70 = £2.80 for a day return
If you live in Abergavenny and your placement is at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
Abergavenny to Cardiff by train = £13.60 day return
Abergavenny to Newport by train = £10.50 day return
Help with placement travel cost = £10.50 LESS £13.60 = NIL help
Help with costs will be based on use of public transport or a mileage allowance whichever is less.
If I’m affected by this change what can I do?
You can ask the Placement Office to allow you to change your placement location. However, with a large cohort of students, and the need to place you somewhere where there are a variety of placement experiences, may mean that this option is going to be limited.
Another option is to approach us to ask about the possibility of applying to the Financial Contingency Fund. It is funded by money from the Welsh Government for 2014/15 and applications can be made by home UK students. Help from this Fund is income assessed and the assessment will look at your overall financial situation, which is usually a comparison of your income against essential outgoings. Placement travel costs could be included as an essential cost in this overall assessment.
If you are in this situation and you would like to discuss in more detail then please call into the Student Support Centre at the Heath Park Campus or at Cathays to have a chat about this Fund and how it may apply to your situation.
We can also advise you about searching for possible other grants from Educational Trust Funds. Check out the blog over the next couple of weeks for a post that goes into this option in more detail.
|Cathays CampusStudent Support Centre
50 Park Place
Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 4844
|Heath Park CampusCardigan House
Tel: +44 (0)29 2074 2070
Advice & Money Team