Join our campaign for safe staffing
The UK picture
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 requires health boards to provide sufficient nursing staff so that all patients can receive sensitive care. Section 25B defines the appropriate number of nurses for children's wards and adult medical and surgical wards.
RCN Wales continues to campaign for the extension of Section 25B to new settings, particularly mental health inpatient wards, community nursing, and care homes.
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
28 Apr 2022
RCN pledges to keep campaigning as new law gets passed in England without key changes to address the nursing workforce crisis and protect patient care.
31 Mar 2022
Despite RCN members and supporters sending 10,000 emails urging MPs to help address the nursing workforce crisis, the majority of MPs voted against a crucial change to the Health and Care Bill.
30 Mar 2022
We’re demanding a change in the law to address severe workforce shortages as latest NHS staff survey results show there are too few staff for nurses to do their jobs properly.