Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley: Does my noble friend agree that, as well as retaining nurses, we need to train enough to end the scandalous reliance on poaching nurses from poor countries? The move from bursaries to loans was supposed to end the scandal of us turning away tens of thousands of applicants for British nursing courses in this country. Can he explain why last year we again turned away more than 20,000 young British people who wanted to train as nurses in this country?

    Lord Bethell: My Lords, as my noble friend will know, the training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year per eligible student is in place, plus a further £3,000 of additional targeted funding—for example, for childcare costs and students studying special subjects. That is the kind of financial commitment that we have made to meet his concerns. On the specific point that he mentioned, I say that not everyone is suited for the nursing profession; it is a really tough job, and not everyone who wants to be a nurse can be a nurse. I am afraid that the applications that we get and the sifting that we do reflects that point.