dipka
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I can't find anything on here about this yet, so I am asking.

So, I have the letter from SF that they have approved DSA. It is basically just a list of the suppliers name, phone number and amount they will pay split into the sections (equipment, none medical helper, general) and it basically says contact them. Or for things where I have an allowance, to buy it then send receipts.

Firstly my problem is that it's quite vague what has been approved? I got quite a few things recommended in each section but like in equipment it's all from 1 supplier so I've got a amount approved not a list of all the items-so it's not very clear what they agree to. I also don't think it is clear what I am allowed to buy. Like it says 'paper suitable for my printer' but then says I am not allowed to buy 'specialist paper' Is colored paper allowed or not, which of those is it in?

Second because of my disability I can not use phones, so I have not contacted any yet. Other than the uni disability adviser because I have their email already and I have a meeting with them on Wednesday so hopefully they can help me to do it all.

But, to anyone who's had DSA's. What do you have to do to arrange it all? And how long did it take. I have had the letter a few weeks so I am worrying it will not be ready for September now.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by dipka)
I can't find anything on here about this yet, so I am asking.

So, I have the letter from SF that they have approved DSA. It is basically just a list of the suppliers name, phone number and amount they will pay split into the sections (equipment, none medical helper, general) and it basically says contact them. Or for things where I have an allowance, to buy it then send receipts.

Firstly my problem is that it's quite vague what has been approved? I got quite a few things recommended in each section but like in equipment it's all from 1 supplier so I've got a amount approved not a list of all the items-so it's not very clear what they agree to. I also don't think it is clear what I am allowed to buy. Like it says 'paper suitable for my printer' but then says I am not allowed to buy 'specialist paper' Is colored paper allowed or not, which of those is it in?

Second because of my disability I can not use phones, so I have not contacted any yet. Other than the uni disability adviser because I have their email already and I have a meeting with them on Wednesday so hopefully they can help me to do it all.

But, to anyone who's had DSA's. What do you have to do to arrange it all? And how long did it take. I have had the letter a few weeks so I am worrying it will not be ready for September now.
I just had to call the supplier up, make an appointment and they came round to my flat and delivered the equipment and installed anything that needed to be done(for the nhs their sending me the money in september to do it all myself makes life easier ) . Have you got a copy of your needs report to hand? If yours includes the recommendations at the back, it should have suggested prices and suppliers so you can compare that to your sfe letter so you can figure out what dsa are paying for from the supplier.
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dipka
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(Original post by claireestelle)
I just had to call the supplier up, make an appointment and they came round to my flat and delivered the equipment and installed anything that needed to be done(for the nhs their sending me the money in september to do it all myself makes life easier ) . Have you got a copy of your needs report to hand? If yours includes the recommendations at the back, it should have suggested prices and suppliers so you can compare that to your sfe letter so you can figure out what dsa are paying for from the supplier.
The needs report has lots of different options, so I can not work out what one they have approved?

Did they deliver things when you was already at the uni or before you go? I've got some lessons in using the software, which I assume I need before September, and I assume I need the equipment so I can be taught to use it. So, does all this happen before I go to uni, and I somehow have to have room for all this equipment and all the other things any student needs!
When you say installing things, is that complicated? like would I manage to re do it when I got to halls? or could they do it twice?
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claireestelle
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(Original post by dipka)
The needs report has lots of different options, so I can not work out what one they have approved?

Did they deliver things when you was already at the uni or before you go? I've got some lessons in using the software, which I assume I need before September, and I assume I need the equipment so I can be taught to use it. So, does all this happen before I go to uni, and I somehow have to have room for all this equipment and all the other things any student needs!
When you say installing things, is that complicated? like would I manage to re do it when I got to halls? or could they do it twice?
You have to be at uni enrolled before they ll pay for anything at all i m afraid so you cant be given any thing sooner than september. The same stands for training, you don't absolutely need the software before the it training as you ll do it at uni with a pc that already has it on (at least my training did). Theres a possibility you can have any human/1:1 support from the first day/week as unis can have a small fund to cover it then it gets paid back from dsa.

Sorry, when i said install i meant put the software and such on your pc, show you how to use anything else they ve given you basically, nothing you couldn't figure out for yourself really but they have to install it for you incase you mess it up yourself apparently.
Do you have the suppliers names on both the sfe letter and the needs assessment? If it would help at all, I could take a look at your letter/need assessment for you and try and figure out what the supplier their using and what sfe has actually agreed to fund?
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dipka
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(Original post by claireestelle)
You have to be at uni enrolled before they ll pay for anything at all i m afraid so you cant be given any thing sooner than september. The same stands for training, you don't absolutely need the software before the it training as you ll do it at uni with a pc that already has it on (at least my training did). Theres a possibility you can have any human/1:1 support from the first day/week as unis can have a small fund to cover it then it gets paid back from dsa.

Sorry, when i said install i meant put the software and such on your pc, show you how to use anything else they ve given you basically, nothing you couldn't figure out for yourself really but they have to install it for you incase you mess it up yourself apparently.
Do you have the suppliers names on both the sfe letter and the needs assessment? If it would help at all, I could take a look at your letter/need assessment for you and try and figure out what the supplier their using and what sfe has actually agreed to fund?
How is it supposed to help then? So i get a brand new computer some point probably 3 weeks after I start when It all gets arranged, and I suddenly have to try and learn how to use a new computer while doing whatever else I need to do for the course, and the living things! I wanted it like before I went, I was planning to use it a bit and get used to it before I go. It will be all new and modern compared to mine-I had a challenge with college computers because of that!
Also means I have to have all that time at the start of the course without the support. Is the start not when you get lots of information, and it's all important information. At college it certainly was- and yes I never wrote any of it down. And so never learnt fairly important things like how on earth the canteen works. I just took my own lunch to solve that at college. Never worked out how there were 4 counters, and 1 que, so you get to the front and the first counter and then can't get something from any other counter. Also had some stupid thing about if you wanted certain food (a pie) you can't have it on a plate and sit in the canteen, it comes in a box so you must leave the canteen to eat unless you get food from another counter. stupid place to me.

So, I have to go to the uni to do any of the training, which I can get before I enroll? but then will I not be learning the softwear on a different computer to what I will have, so I will then need to learn it again when I get mine.
I hope that will happen from the uni for the first day. the uni are already paying for some of my none medical helper. Or they will be from Wednesday because I have been recommended more than the maximum SF allowance for the year-and it says the uni pays the extra.
Not impressed by any of this. not you (thanks for telling me!) but that it is not clearer in any of the information from SF. I hate all there information, It's obvious I have a learning disability why do they send me such complicated things? But this has really confused me, that all of what I expected sounds like it can't happen. and I am even more scared for the first few weeks now. are they not one of the hardest weeks, and I can't get support then?

oh, I thought it meant like set up the computer, and connect the printer. all the cables and that kind of thing. Yes I might be able to work out installing something! When does that happen then?

Yes, there is one name that's on both, Iv'e tried to work it out but with just a agreed total i cant work out what combination. But then a few items don't have a price it says 'as supplier recommends' so could mean anything! I'm not sure how to get both of those things to you. and they kinda have quite a lot of personal information on (do you really want all that reading too?) It's possibly easier to ask on Wednesday?
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claireestelle
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(Original post by dipka)
How is it supposed to help then? So i get a brand new computer some point probably 3 weeks after I start when It all gets arranged, and I suddenly have to try and learn how to use a new computer while doing whatever else I need to do for the course, and the living things! I wanted it like before I went, I was planning to use it a bit and get used to it before I go. It will be all new and modern compared to mine-I had a challenge with college computers because of that!

Unfortunately, student finance are a bit ridiculous with it, they must think something stupid like if they give it to you early then you might not start the course or something like that.

Also means I have to have all that time at the start of the course without the support. Is the start not when you get lots of information, and it's all important information. At college it certainly was- and yes I never wrote any of it down.

Your uni should give you a course handbook and module handbooks when you start so any important dates and anything incredibly important should be in those. Mine are on the uni system so no hard copies to get lost.

And so never learnt fairly important things like how on earth the canteen works. I just took my own lunch to solve that at college. Never worked out how there were 4 counters, and 1 que, so you get to the front and the first counter and then can't get something from any other counter. Also had some stupid thing about if you wanted certain food (a pie) you can't have it on a plate and sit in the canteen, it comes in a box so you must leave the canteen to eat unless you get food from another counter. stupid place to me.

My uni canteen is one simple queue in all of them, except you skip it to get the hot drinks machine. From my experience unis try to keep things simple with there being so many people so you hopefully wont have the problem you had at college

So, I have to go to the uni to do any of the training, which I can get before I enroll? but then will I not be learning the softwear on a different computer to what I will have, so I will then need to learn it again when I get mine.

This you will have to check with your uni for definite but it should be they could get you at least some of the training in september at least. Each uni has different enrolment dates, some are straight after your results, some make you do it in person so it depends when you get to enrol really.


I hope that will happen from the uni for the first day. the uni are already paying for some of my none medical helper. Or they will be from Wednesday because I have been recommended more than the maximum SF allowance for the year-and it says the uni pays the extra.

I got my support worker sorted pretty quickly so at least with that i recon you should get it as soon as you start or pretty close.

Not impressed by any of this. not you (thanks for telling me!) but that it is not clearer in any of the information from SF. I hate all there information, It's obvious I have a learning disability why do they send me such complicated things? But this has really confused me, that all of what I expected sounds like it can't happen. and I am even more scared for the first few weeks now. are they not one of the hardest weeks, and I can't get support then?
Since you ve got your dsa started early at worst i cant imagine you not having everything that dsa has to pay for by october could be earlier if the supplier is nearby and you can keep a few hours spare in your early days at uni for the appointment.

oh, I thought it meant like set up the computer, and connect the printer. all the cables and that kind of thing. Yes I might be able to work out installing something! When does that happen then?

I m using my own pc so basically the supplier just put all the software on and then handed me the disks once he was done and checked my scanner and Dictaphone worked.

Yes, there is one name that's on both, Iv'e tried to work it out but with just a agreed total i cant work out what combination. But then a few items don't have a price it says 'as supplier recommends' so could mean anything! I'm not sure how to get both of those things to you. and they kinda have quite a lot of personal information on (do you really want all that reading too?) It's possibly easier to ask on Wednesday?
Take your letter and needs assessment on wednesday and your disability advisor should be able to clear any questions you have up. Theres a possibility, your supplier could have its own website, if you googled it, i matched my prices with my products so knew exactly what i was getting rather than the specs so something you could try.

Hope this helps, SFW are pretty good explaining stuff on the phone, nhs even better but sfe is pretty bad from what i ve heard. If you ve any uni related questions or other dsa questions i can do my best to help just drop me a message anytime
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Tiger Rag
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With the paper - I think they're saying you can't claim for something like photo paper (because it's not a cost incurred because of your disability) but you can claim for coloured paper if that was recommended in your needs assessment.
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Pathway
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Well, when I got my DSA items I had my training done during term-time. However, one of my best friends got her DSA through earlier and got everything set up before she went to university. So honestly, it really depends on when the supplier is next available to send you everything and set up hardware and install any software you have been given. However, my training was done seperately online with a remote link, so no one came to my halls to train me on anything.

Yes, you do have to ring up to say when you want everything to be delivered.

Also, the reason they don't always get to give people their DSA items before term-time isn't because they're worried people will just drop out, it's literally because they don't have the time to send people their stuff. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that if you don't finish your course you have to give them the items back/pay the difference (obviously, if you finish your course, you don't have to pay anything or give any of it back).
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In fact, I remember reading somewhere that if you don't finish your course you have to give them the items back/pay the difference (obviously, if you finish your course, you don't have to pay anything or give any of it back).
Not true. I did one year at a brick uni and then dropped out. I asked DSA if I had to return my equipment and was told no. The equipment is useless to them after one years use.
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Not true. I did one year at a brick uni and then dropped out. I asked DSA if I had to return my equipment and was told no. The equipment is useless to them after one years use.
Ohh, ok, fair enough. Not sure where I read that. :erm:
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Just to say that I have not had to wait until I have started university to get my equipment delivered or have the training to use it. I have been allocated 12 hours training on using the software etc.. and will be having some this before going to uni at least. It is arranged via the company who supplied the equipment and not from the uni. So at least some of these replies are not always accurate.
My non- medical support - specialist mentor and study skills support I expect to arrange once my place is confirmed as the study skills is via the uni, although the mentor I from a separate company.
In summary, yes in my case I have been able to get delivery before having a place at uni (this week) even before my results. They will 'set up' the equipment and then at least some of my training will happen well before I enrol at uni.
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dipka
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(Original post by claireestelle)
Take your letter and needs assessment on wednesday and your disability advisor should be able to clear any questions you have up. Theres a possibility, your supplier could have its own website, if you googled it, i matched my prices with my products so knew exactly what i was getting rather than the specs so something you could try.

Hope this helps, SFW are pretty good explaining stuff on the phone, nhs even better but sfe is pretty bad from what i ve heard. If you ve any uni related questions or other dsa questions i can do my best to help just drop me a message anytime
That's clever how you replied in between what I wrote Do I need to have a actual copy of the needs assessment printed? it's 39 pages and I have only had it emailed and I can't really print that much. Also, as I used their assessors (at a different location though) will they not have a copy of it?
Googling was a really good idea Barry Bennett is doing the equipment and every page seems to say 'for more information contact us' theres no lists of what they provide and the prices.
My training is from someone else called invate ltd and on there website I can find how to book training but I can not find more information about it.

(Original post by OU Student)
With the paper - I think they're saying you can't claim for something like photo paper (because it's not a cost incurred because of your disability) but you can claim for coloured paper if that was recommended in your needs assessment.
So it does not need to specify the color-that's good. to me colored paper is specialist so I was not sure, but yes it is needed because of my disability, whereas photo paper is not.

(Original post by Pathway)
Well, when I got my DSA items I had my training done during term-time. However, one of my best friends got her DSA through earlier and got everything set up before she went to university. So honestly, it really depends on when the supplier is next available to send you everything and set up hardware and install any software you have been given. However, my training was done seperately online with a remote link, so no one came to my halls to train me on anything.

Yes, you do have to ring up to say when you want everything to be delivered.

Also, the reason they don't always get to give people their DSA items before term-time isn't because they're worried people will just drop out, it's literally because they don't have the time to send people their stuff. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that if you don't finish your course you have to give them the items back/pay the difference (obviously, if you finish your course, you don't have to pay anything or give any of it back).
So, you don't have to do anything to prove your going to go, you just have to hope they have time to deliver the equipment, then they have time to do the training? is that right?

(Original post by OU Student)
Not true. I did one year at a brick uni and then dropped out. I asked DSA if I had to return my equipment and was told no. The equipment is useless to them after one years use.
So you got to keep it?


(Original post by fw1)
Just to say that I have not had to wait until I have started university to get my equipment delivered or have the training to use it. I have been allocated 12 hours training on using the software etc.. and will be having some this before going to uni at least. It is arranged via the company who supplied the equipment and not from the uni. So at least some of these replies are not always accurate.
My non- medical support - specialist mentor and study skills support I expect to arrange once my place is confirmed as the study skills is via the uni, although the mentor I from a separate company.
In summary, yes in my case I have been able to get delivery before having a place at uni (this week) even before my results. They will 'set up' the equipment and then at least some of my training will happen well before I enrol at uni.
I have 2 different suppliers (look above) 1 is doing the equipment then the training is by someone else. What did you have to do to get this? just like ring up and arrange the days and times? so, is that about you needing to enroll first wrong? or not?
Well what happened for you?
How long did it take to get the none medical support? I am worried that starting will be hardest, and this was mentioned in the needs assessment report that I should have extra hours from the study assistant for the first few weeks. But, if I can't get anything before I enroll how is that possible? In fact-I need support to enroll. So did you get anything from that first week?
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by dipka)
So it does not need to specify the color-that's good. to me colored paper is specialist so I was not sure, but yes it is needed because of my disability, whereas photo paper is not.
Neither of mine never mentioned the colour, ever. I was just told I have an allowance for coloured paper. I found that grey paper was a major pain to get hold of and would just use blue or purple. I was then reassessed by college and did end up with blue being the better colour. So yeah, you can claim for any colour paper.

So you got to keep it?
Yes. Or you can donate it to your uni's disability department. Once you leave, it's yours to keep.
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claireestelle
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dipka (sorry pc messed up with quoting)

Needs assessors are allowed to forward to your uni automatically if you gave permission for it ( i ve signed everything previously saying i m happy for all tutors or anyone at uni to access my disability records) , otherwise you could email it yourself. My needs assessment was password protected so had to give it to my needs assessor myself. Thats quite a coincidence Barry Bennett is my equipment supplier for this time round actually :P( the nhs told me to call them up once term starts, hoping to pester them for a weekend/evening delivery) although its only audionotetaker and read write i m getting so would happily take the risk on myself in installing them (all my other software works from my old course)

I ve kept everything from sfw and just getting the latest version of two softwares, they never take it off you really wouldnt be much point after so long.
Hope this helps
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[QUOTE=dipka;58026395


So, you don't have to do anything to prove your going to go, you just have to hope they have time to deliver the equipment, then they have time to do the training? is that right?



So you got to keep it?




I have 2 different suppliers (look above) 1 is doing the equipment then the training is by someone else. What did you have to do to get this? just like ring up and arrange the days and times? so, is that about you needing to enroll first wrong? or not?
Well what happened for you?
How long did it take to get the none medical support? I am worried that starting will be hardest, and this was mentioned in the needs assessment report that I should have extra hours from the study assistant for the first few weeks. But, if I can't get anything before I enroll how is that possible? In fact-I need support to enroll. So did you get anything from that first week?[/QUOTE]

All I can tell you is my experience. I got approval from SFE for my DSA a wek or so ago. I am not yet at uni - hold conditional offers for Sept and I am waiting for A level results day to confirm my place (or not)
I rang my supplier from my approval letter and they confirmed the full list I equipment and sent me a copy by email, they were v helpful because the approval letter doesn't tell you as you found out. My equipment is being delivered in 3 days time and I am having my training to use it 6 x 2 hours over the next few weeks at my home before I go to uni. I am hoping to know how to use all software before I start.
I haven't rung to arrange my non medical support - a mentor and a specialist study skills tutor yet because I don't know where I'll be yet, but will do after results day. I also want this in place asap as I will need help right from the start.
I just wanted to reassure you that not everyone needs to enrol before they get the equipment and training. At least that I not my experience.
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dipka
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(Original post by OU Student)
Neither of mine never mentioned the colour, ever. I was just told I have an allowance for coloured paper. I found that grey paper was a major pain to get hold of and would just use blue or purple. I was then reassessed by college and did end up with blue being the better colour. So yeah, you can claim for any colour paper.
Mine does not say the allowance is for colored paper. it just says 'paper suitable for the printer' which is why I think it is confusing.

I have links in my needs assessment of where to buy things. This is what I got for the paper http://www.eganreideducation.co.uk/s...7#.Vbai9PlVikp Clearly that's my color not gray but they might do gray, or blue of whichever color you prefer. Where have you been buying it from?


(Original post by claireestelle)
dipka (sorry pc messed up with quoting)

Needs assessors are allowed to forward to your uni automatically if you gave permission for it ( i ve signed everything previously saying i m happy for all tutors or anyone at uni to access my disability records) , otherwise you could email it yourself. My needs assessment was password protected so had to give it to my needs assessor myself. Thats quite a coincidence Barry Bennett is my equipment supplier for this time round actually :P( the nhs told me to call them up once term starts, hoping to pester them for a weekend/evening delivery) although its only audionotetaker and read write i m getting so would happily take the risk on myself in installing them (all my other software works from my old course)

I ve kept everything from sfw and just getting the latest version of two softwares, they never take it off you really wouldnt be much point after so long.
Hope this helps
That's good. yes I said yes to everything that says people can share relent information to improve support. so that means that the uni will have a copy. Mine is not password protected.
Yours sounds complicated, have you done different courses? and a mix of sfw and nhs?
Also am I right to think that your are not trying to get your equipment until September anyway? So I can't ask how you have managed to get it arranged with them yet, because you don't know.

(Original post by fw1)
All I can tell you is my experience. I got approval from SFE for my DSA a wek or so ago. I am not yet at uni - hold conditional offers for Sept and I am waiting for A level results day to confirm my place (or not)
I rang my supplier from my approval letter and they confirmed the full list I equipment and sent me a copy by email, they were v helpful because the approval letter doesn't tell you as you found out. My equipment is being delivered in 3 days time and I am having my training to use it 6 x 2 hours over the next few weeks at my home before I go to uni. I am hoping to know how to use all software before I start.
I haven't rung to arrange my non medical support - a mentor and a specialist study skills tutor yet because I don't know where I'll be yet, but will do after results day. I also want this in place asap as I will need help right from the start.
I just wanted to reassure you that not everyone needs to enrol before they get the equipment and training. At least that I not my experience.
Oh, I got that wrong then. I somehow thought that you were already at uni, or have been last year. not sure why I thought that if your not, probably me not understanding something.
That is really quick from your letter to the supplyer having a time to deliver. I'm quite hopeful it will be done for September-just possibly a issue of that I am quite busy to arranging the day or times might be quite hard.
I was hoping to be able to use everything before I start like you, so I'm glad you seem to think that is realistic because i've found it might not be. So good to hear that it is realistic for you, and I hope it will be for me.

That's a hard situation, still waiting for results. What about calling all the options so they can start to arrange it, to give them more time to if theirs a chance you will go there? That's possibly what I would do. But I am glad I know what uni I am going to.
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(Original post by dipka)
Mine does not say the allowance is for colored paper. it just says 'paper suitable for the printer' which is why I think it is confusing.

I have links in my needs assessment of where to buy things. This is what I got for the paper http://www.eganreideducation.co.uk/s...7#.Vbai9PlVikp Clearly that's my color not gray but they might do gray, or blue of whichever color you prefer. Where have you been buying it from?





That's good. yes I said yes to everything that says people can share relent information to improve support. so that means that the uni will have a copy. Mine is not password protected.
Yours sounds complicated, have you done different courses? and a mix of sfw and nhs?
Also am I right to think that your are not trying to get your equipment until September anyway? So I can't ask how you have managed to get it arranged with them yet, because you don't know.
Sorry for the confusion, yes I graduated with a HND in july so sfw was in charge of my DSA for that but i m starting mental health nursing bsc which is an nhs covered course so they do dsa for that.
The nhs is different to all the others, i get the money for the equipment directly to my bank account when i get my other bursaries through in september (no money till enrolment for definite) and can't order it till i get the cash to pay the supplier with. Barry bennett has an online order from here http://www.barrybennett.co.uk/student/ so as soon as nhs bursary comes in the bank i m ordering with that form and giving them a call.
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dipka
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(Original post by claireestelle)
Sorry for the confusion, yes I graduated with a HND in july so sfw was in charge of my DSA for that but i m starting mental health nursing bsc which is an nhs covered course so they do dsa for that.
The nhs is different to all the others, i get the money for the equipment directly to my bank account when i get my other bursaries through in september (no money till enrolment for definite) and can't order it till i get the cash to pay the supplier with. Barry bennett has an online order from here http://www.barrybennett.co.uk/student/ so as soon as nhs bursary comes in the bank i m ordering with that form and giving them a call.
Wow, your busy!
Also I am glad Im not doing a nhs course, sounds complicated. Good luck with the new course, the country needs more mental health nurses.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by dipka)
Wow, your busy!
Also I am glad Im not doing a nhs course, sounds complicated. Good luck with the new course, the country needs more mental health nurses.
I wouldnt say busy, just spending 5 years in total at uni thats all:P
I quite like the nhs dsa set up, don't have to worry about them passing my details onto the supplier, i feel like they're being quite trusting letting me order it myself, of course i do have to send them the receipt afterwards:P Thank you, cant wait to get started
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dipka
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(Original post by claireestelle)
I wouldnt say busy, just spending 5 years in total at uni thats all:P
I quite like the nhs dsa set up, don't have to worry about them passing my details onto the supplier, i feel like they're being quite trusting letting me order it myself, of course i do have to send them the receipt afterwards:P Thank you, cant wait to get started
That sounds busy to me, maybe enthusiastic is a better word though-to want to go through uni all over again! Once sounds enough to me.
I would prefer someone else doing it than me being responsible I think. I don't really understand money, or banks, so like spending money is still quite hard for me like when I have to use online banking to pay various groups I need help.
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