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Poor staffing levels have serious impact on patient care

17 Dec 2015

RCN Wales responds to the British Journal of Anaesthesia's research regarding the impact poor staffing levels has on patient care.

Responding to the research published today (Thursday) in the British Journal of Anaesthesia indicating a direct link between the numbers of doctors, nurses and senior clinicians working in a hospital and the patient’s chances of survival, RCN Wales Associate Director (Employment Relations) Peter Meredith-Smith said:  

"This research is further evidence of the clear relationship between nurse staffing levels and patient-care outcomes. Nurses frequently tell us about very distressing situations they have to cope with when there are not enough staff. As well as having a detrimental impact on patient care and outcomes, the inadequate staffing of clinical areas also has a negative impact on nurses’ health, causing a rise in work-related stress and increasing sickness levels."

"High quality patient care depends on the skills and experiences of nurses, a safe environment and safe nursing numbers."

"The Assembly’s Health and Social Services Committee voted recently to support Phase 2 of the Nurse Staffing Levels Bill which will now move to Phase 3. The ‘Safe’ Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill’, introduced by Kirsty Williams AM, has now progressed to Stage 3 in the legislative process.  We are encouraging all of our Assembly Members to vote to support this bill. Eighty-seven percent of the Welsh public believe that this bill is important for Wales." 

"Without a law like this our lives and the lives of those we care about are being put at risk. The bill will improve patient care and ensure better outcomes - the safety of patients in Wales should not be ignored."