It has been another busy and successful year for the RCN in Wales, but we could not have achieved any of the things we have without the tremendous support of our members, our board and our staff. Their hard work and dedication have ensured that we have been able to place nursing at the very heart of the health agenda.We send particularly warm wishes to all our members who will be working over the holiday period, ensuring that the high quality, compassionate care that they are renowned for continues seamlessly, regardless of the date on the calendar.
In Wales we campaigned shoulder to shoulder to Scrap the Cap, holding events and activities to engage public and political support for the ending of the one per cent cap on public sector pay. Now that this has been lifted we are still working hard to ensure that the gap left by seven-year-long pay cap is closed, so we will are going into 2018 still working hard to ensure that nurses – Britain’s most trust professionals – are paid fairly.
In Wales we have achieved a European first – the Welsh Government has enshrined the Safe Staffing (Wales) Act 2016 onto the statute books – acknowledging the extensive work done by the RCN in Wales to see this happen. It means that there are now legal limits for minimum staffing levels on acute adult wards and we will continue to work with the Welsh Government in 2018 towards seeing this extended to other areas of nursing too. Alongside this Statutory Guidance for the Act was published earlier this year- and again the Welsh Government acknowledged the contribution of the RCN in Wales in developing this. The RCN in Wales works closely with the Welsh Government and Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething and has welcomed their support for the nursing family. The recent announcement of an extra £12million for the funding of nurse and health care training means Christmas has come early for the nursing profession and we are delighted that the Welsh Government has allocated money for a Buurtzorg pilot programme of neighbourhood nursing care.
The amazing work of the dedicated nurses working in Wales was showcased at this year’s RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year awards, which saw 17 members of the nursing family crowned as shining examples of the best of the profession, with respiratory nurse facilitator Louise Walby taking the title of Nurse of the Year. This glittering gala event, hosted by TV and Radio personalities Jason Mohammad and Andrea Byrne, is now in its seventh year and we look forward to celebrating the best the nursing family has to offer at next year’s awards.
The RCN in Wales’ commitment to diversity saw the Pride flag flying over our Ty Maeth HQ during the summer, with staff contributing to very successful Pride events in both north and south Wales. Closer to home we have hosted the District Nurses Summit; attended Conference; and put on several training seminars for nurses and healthcare support workers as well as other activities in our library, including a visit by RCN Writer in Residence Molly Case and a very popular session with Mali, a Pets as Therapy dog.
We expect to be just as busy in 2018 – working hard to support our members to take nursing forward and meet the challenges the New Year will present.