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We're calling for safe and effective care to be enshrined in law in each UK country.
Calling for safe staffing across the UK
The Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 was the first law of its kind in the UK. It applies everywhere nursing care is delivered in Wales.
Its most stringent provisions, known as Section 25B, were extended in October 2021. They now apply in children's inpatient wards in addition to adult medical and surgical wards.
RCN Wales continues to campaign to protect patient care and empower the ward sister/charge nurse by advocating for the extension of Section 25B to mental health inpatient wards, community and care home settings.
In June 2019 the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act became law, the first legislation in the UK to set out requirements for safe staffing across both health and social care services.
Implementation has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the RCN is calling for the Act to be fully implemented by the end of 2021.
Following industrial action during 2019/2020 to achieve pay equality and safe staffing, the priority for RCN Northern Ireland is to hold the Department of Health and Northern Ireland Executive to account for the delivery of the Health Minister’s safe staffing framework, particularly in relation to the implementation of safe staffing legislation.
RCN Nursing Workforce Standards
Our principles for staffing for safe and effective care
Find out more about our safe staffing campaign
23 Nov 2021
Nursing under pressure - Figures reveal that every week nurses give the Welsh NHS an additional 34,284 hours in overtime
15 Nov 2021
New analysis confirms RCN warnings that current pressures on the NHS in England are unsustainable.
1 Oct 2021
We are delighted to see the extension of the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act into children’s hospital wards.