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Assembly Members vote to pass Nurse Staffing Levels Wales Bill to Stage 4

4 Feb 2016

RCN Wales expresses delight at bill progressing to its final stage.

Tina Donnelly, Director, RCN Wales, said: “We applaud the support of Stage 3 of the bill which will protect patients and empower registered nurses to drive staffing decisions in our hospitals. When health care organisations fail to comply with recommended nurse to patient ratios, laws and regulations become necessary."

“This is a historic step to improving patient care and we are very proud the National Assembly of Wales has led the way with support from all political parties. Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has led the way in championing this bill and it has been heartening to see how constructively Mark Drakeford, the Health and Social Care Minister, has worked to make this bill a reality."

"It has also been wonderful to see strong support from the Conservative Party and Plaid Cymru as well. Government’s across the United Kingdom can really learn from this approach to safeguarding patient care.”

Evidence clearly shows that when nursing levels fall to an unsafe point stays in hospital are longer and falls, infections and other complications rise. When the numbers of nurses on a ward is too low, incidents of pressure sores, lack of communication and mistakes administering medication rise.

A poll carried out by ComRes on behalf of RCN Wales showed strong public support for the bill in Wales. Almost nine in ten Welsh adults (87%) say it is important a new law on safe nurse staffing levels in hospital wards is passed, and almost three in five (57%) say it is very important.

Gaynor Jones, Chair of the RCN Welsh Board and Council Member for Wales, said: "The RCN in Wales is pleased that the National Assembly for Wales supports legislation for safe nurse staffing levels in Wales."

"As a practicing nurse, I know how important it is to identify and maintain the appropriate number and skill mix of nursing staff when delivering high quality, dignified patient care. Nurses have always acknowledged and continue to emphasise that staffing issues are an ongoing concern, one that influences the safety of both the patient and the nurse."