Covid-19: Frequently Asked Questions (Healthcare students)

We have received many questions from students and have created a set of FAQs that answer the most common and important queries. You will appreciate that in some cases we will not have the answer yet and will need to work these through with other bodies. You will also find information for students from:

1. What should students do if they do not feel that they have adequate access to PPE? (UK)

Universities have a responsibility to continue to support students in practice. Employers also have a moral and statutory duty of care to protect employee’s health and safety and provide a safe environment to work. NHS organisations need to be proactive in protecting employees and supporting them to feel safe and secure in their employment.

If you are not equipped with adequate PPE, please inform your practice placement provider and university immediately.

2. How will caring responsibilities for students with children be managed? (UK)

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that students undertaking clinical healthcare programmes are contributing to the national Covid-19 response and can self-identify as key workers. Schools and childcare providers have been asked to continue to provide care for children of key workers. If you require any evidence to support discussions with your school or childcare provider this can be obtained via your university.

3. What will happen to Learning Support Fund payments in England? (Eng)

Students starting and continuing their course from September 2020 can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund if they are on one of the applicable pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Further information about student eligibility is available.

4. Will recently announced training grants for healthcare students in England still be implemented? (Eng)

The Government has confirmed the £5,000 training grant will be implemented in September 2020 for all eligible students. You can apply for the training grant through your online NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) account. You will need to reapply for the training grant at the start of each academic year as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

5. My student visa is about to expire, am I able to stay in the UK? (UK)

If your visa expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 then you could request an extension if you are not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have applied for a Tier 4 student visa but not yet received a decision then you can start your course or studies before your visa application has been decided if:

  • your sponsor is a Tier 4 sponsor
  • you have confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
  • you can evidence that you submitted your application before your current leave expired

6. Will my student visa be breached if I work for more than 20 hours and if my university is only providing distance learning? (UK)

The Home Office is waiving a number of requirements on visa sponsors so your course now being delivered by distance learning will not breach your visa requirements if your university is your visa sponsor. They have also lifted the limit on the number of hours you can work during term time if you are working for the NHS for nurses, midwives and AHP students.