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11 February 2013
The BMA has issued advice for medical students experiencing difficulties with NHS bursary payments.
Staff at the NHS BSA (NHS Business Services Authority), which administers the bursary, are working to clear a backlog in applications caused by changes to an online system and the introduction of a new eligibility process for maintenance payments.
The MSC guide says that most first-time applicants should have received their maintenance payments by now, and that anyone who hasn’t should contact the NHS BSA and explain why their claim needs to be speeded up.
However, accelerated graduate students in years three and four and undergraduate students in year six whose financial circumstances have changed since last year may still be experiencing delays.
‘We have been reassured by the NHS bursary team that anyone in these circumstances can expect to have their cases resolved quickly,’ the MSC says.
The MSC says students facing financial difficulties because of delays in maintenance payments can ask for their applications to be ‘fast-tracked’ in three to five working days.
Some students have also been having problems with the tuition fee element of the NHS bursary.
This should be paid directly to universities, which should not be hassling individual students about late payments, the MSC says.
One student, who did not want to be named, was threatened with removal from her course if she did not pay her tuition fees in 14 days.
The student managed to resolve her case by contacting someone high up in the university, but said it was very stressful because she was also returning to her course after maternity leave.
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