Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to “urgently” resolve an insurance situation that has resulted in healthcare students across Scotland being unable to continue their studies at college.
More than 1,000 students across Scotland are facing the prospect of being unable to finish their courses, as the Scottish Government has not made special death in service cover available to them, to allow them to go on practical placements in real-life workplaces.
Without being able to complete a certain number of placement hours, the young academics would not be able to complete their studies.
This week, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin raised the issue with Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister’s Questions.
The first minister said: “I am aware of this, it has been brought to my attention and the chief nuring officer is looking into it.
“We urgently want to resolve this situation in a satisfactory way, as quick as possible.
“I will ensure that I or the health secretary write to Gillian Martin when we’ve reached the conclusion of that.”
Of the many students across the country affected by the issue, 18 of them are currently completing an HNC in care and administrative practice at North East Scotland College (Nescol).
The students need to finish up to 720 hours of placement time to progress to the next part of their learning at university, but the longer that insurance is not provided, the fewer days they have to reach their totals.
Ms Martin said: “I am pleased the first minister has made a pledge to fix this matter and make sure it is sorted as soon as possible for the students affected.
“I know many of these students are urgently waiting to find out if they have been awarded the insurance necessary for them to complete practical work placements.”