Over the past year we've been working hard with the Nursing & Midwifery (N&M) Department Reps and Royal College of Nursing Reps to make sure the N&M student voice is heard. Thanks to your feedback and attendance to our focus groups, we've been able to identify the key areas of improvement for the department and to lobby the University accordingly. The work covered here has been framed by the recommendations put forward from the N&M report drawn from the focus groups held in February 2023, covering six main topic issues initially raised by students: Recovery Plan, Placements, Health and Wellbeing, Communication, Finance, and Skills Set Impact.
Since then we've been collaborating with the University to make these recommendations happen. Some of the key work we're doing at the moment includes:
- Meeting with HWLS's new College Wellbeing Advisor to discuss what kind of support needs to be implemented for students in your college. Her role will be focussed on providing a new kind of support system that aims at meeting the needs of students not provided by the current system. We have been discussing the possibility of a face-to-face welling offer, as well as options that students have suggested such as more integrated pastoral support within the curriculum.
- Being involved with the review of the placement allocation and appeals process for students in HWLS; this has included reviewing what extenuating circumstances means for students, and making the allocation process more transparent and inclusive. Once details on this have been confirmed, they will be shared with students.
- Discussing a new Placement Learning Checklist with the University that can be used by students to check details about what it means to be on placement, where to go if they have concerns, and it gives key documents and procedures that students will need during their placement. This checklist will be crucial in providing students all the information they need to feel fully informed whilst on placement. During these conversations, we asked the placements team that they consult us during their reviews, and we made sure to reiterate and incorporate what students had expressed to us in the focus groups so that student opinions were rightly considered.
- One concern that Nursing students initially raised was the lack of communication from the placements team. We have discussed this with the team and they have looked at their communication processes and provided us with a list of ways you can get in touch.
Cost of Living
Another campaign that has been running alongside the Nursing and Midwifery campaign is Cost of Living and, within this, research has been conducted to discover the experiences and needs of Hallam students during this time. One concern that is affecting HWLS students in particular is the cost of travel, most notably travelling to and from placement. Due to these findings, we set up a project to lobby for a milage reimbursement raise; it is recommended that the University raises mileage reimbursement for HWLS students on placement from the current 28p per mile to 45p for the first 3500 miles and 24p per mile thereafter, in line with NHS standards. Thanks to the NHS business plan we are glad to say this has happened! As part of our Cost of Living campaign, we are also working with the University of Sheffield's SU to lobby the mayoral authority to make Zoom passes work across South Yorkshire and for all students, not just those under 23. This will take a lot of work and significant pressure from our side but we know how much this will impact our students, particularly in the Nursing & Midwifery department, and we'll be updating our Cost of Living campaign hub with any further information.
Of course, we understand that Nursing & Midwifery students are still struggling, and we want to hear about your experiences on a regular basis, so we can keep an up to date picture of how your courses are going and what further changes need to be made. To do this you can contact your Department Rep, Aimee Hastings, at email@example.com; we also encourage you to submit entries to our student feedback platform where we collate live feedback and data on how university is going for students, which helps us to structure our support.
If you'd like to contact the Representation team or Student Rights and Campaigns team, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org and StudentRights@shu.ac.uk.