Students starting and continuing their course from September 2020 can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund (NHS LSF) if they’re on one of the following pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate courses:
- dental therapy/dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 courses)
- nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
- occupational therapy
- operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
- orthotics and prosthetics
- paramedics (bachelors and masters courses are eligible, DipHE and FD courses are not eligible for NHS LSF)
- radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
- speech and language therapy
NHS LSF offers support for:
- a Training Grant for all eligible students of £5,000 per academic year
- Parental Support of £2,000 for students with at least one dependent child under 15 years, or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs (this used to be called Child Dependants Allowance)
- reimbursement of excess costs incurred on practice placement for travel and temporary accommodation costs (Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses)
- students experiencing financial hardship (Exceptional Support Fund)
Accessing your NHS LSF account
You can log into your NHS LSF account to:
- apply for funding
- upload your evidence
- manage your personal details
Continuing studies before September 2020 or making a claim for 2019 to 2020
You can still log in to the previous system if:
- you’re a student who started or continued your studies before September 2020
- you need to make a claim for the 2019 to 2020 academic year
Eligibility for NHS LSF
Students who want to apply for one or more elements of the NHS LSF need to be:
- studying on an eligible programme at a university in England
- eligible for tuition fee and maintenance support from the Student Loans Company, either through:
- actively in study, whether academic or practice learning
Alternative arrangements are in place for students who may not apply for a loan due to personal reasons.
Those students must still show that they meet the eligibility criteria as defined by SFE, SFW, SFNI or SAAS, as applicable.
Students who started or continued their course in January to August 2020 will be able to apply for the additional funding from the start of their next academic year.
For example, if you started your course in January 2020, you will be able to apply for the additional funding when you start your second year in January 2021.
In the meantime, you should continue to use your current LSF account and apply for CDA, TDAE and ESF as usual.
Part-time students will receive pro rata payments.
How and when to apply
You can apply for NHS LSF from 1 July when the online application system is available.
You should not apply on any other systems as your application will be rejected.
Funding will be phased over the academic year and will be paid in 3 instalments.
Payment will be made once we have received confirmation of your attendance from your university. For students who start or continue in September 2020 you must be in attendance on 1 November to receive the first instalment. This process will be mirrored for students who start after September 2020.
For example, a student starts or continues study in:
- January or February 2021 needs to be in attendance on 1 March 2021
- March or April 2021 needs to be in attendance on 1 May 2021
Final year students who need to extend their course
If you’re in your final year and need to extend your course, you must not apply for NHS LSF using the new system as your application will be rejected.
We're working with the Department of Health and Social Care to finalise funding arrangements and we'll publish more information on this soon.
Manage your NHS LSF account
The first time you apply for any element of NHS LSF in each year of study, you'll need to upload a copy of your student finance letter to your online account.
Uploading a document your NHS LSF account
The selected file must be:
- a JPG, BMP, PNG, TIF or PDF
- an original copy which displays the document in full
- clear and in focus
- in colour
- unaltered by computer software
- at least 50KB and no more than 5 MB
If the document does not meet this criteria your application will be rejected.
Your NHS LSF account
Once you’ve registered for an NHS LSF account, you’ll be able to:
- apply for funding elements of NHS LSF as long as you’re eligible
- update your personal details including your bank account
- check your scheduled payments
Once you’ve registered for an account, you'll keep it throughout your studies and won't need to create a new one.
If you’re in receipt of LSF and are in training prior to September 2020, you’ll continue to use your current online account until you start your next academic year.