arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word youtube-icon

RCN in Wales calls on politicians to support safe nurse staffing levels legislation

17 Mar 2015

This evening, Assembly Members will be hearing first person accounts from nurses working at the front line of care in Wales about the staffing pressures they are facing – an issue that is putting patient lives at risk on a daily basis.

The Royal College of Nursing in Wales is hosting the Cross Party meeting on Nursing & Midwifery meeting at Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay. The meeting, discussing the importance of ensuring safe nurse staffing levels, chaired by Julie Morgan AM, will set out concrete evidence in support of the Safe Nurse Staffing (Wales) Bill that is currently being considered by the Health & Social Care Committee. This law would put a legal duty on Health Boards in Wales to provide safe levels of nursing care and publically demonstrate how they are doing this.

Christine Edwards-Jones, a Ward Sister based working in Wales, who will speak at tonight’s event, said of her own experiences, “I am devoted to my job and providing the best possible care to my patients but we can no longer look past the issues that are staring us right in the face.”

“My colleagues and I are placed under undue strain in our working roles, due to inadequacies in staffing numbers – nursing posts go unfilled and large sums of money are spent on agency nurses and the cycle of not having enough money to employ more staff carries on. This process of not getting the right numbers of patients per registered nurse is hindering staff and having a knock-on effect on the standards of care that can be provided to patients. Simply put, there aren’t enough nurses on wards and there’s just not enough time to care.”

Tina Donnelly, Director, RCN Wales, said of the issue at hand, “The RCN is certain that staffing guidelines that have been provided in the past are not working – the Welsh NHS is failing to upkeep safe standards of nurse staffing and are therefore failing as a health care system. Ultimately, this failure will result in lost lives.”

“There can be no higher priority than protecting the lives and wellbeing of patients in our care. We know that guidance is not enough, it is the duty of Assembly Members to protect the public by supporting this piece of essential health legislation.”