Royal College of Nursing Wales Director, Helen Whyley, said:
“This research is excellent and more like it is needed. The research demonstrates the value of having the appropriate number of nurses and skill mix to care for patients. Key challenges to planning and achieving safe nurse staffing levels are unfilled vacancies. The report concluded that the supply of registered nurses has not met the demand. There is a real concern about the vast increase in the number of nursing support staff such as health care support workers which is causing a weakening of skill levels in NHS England.
In Wales, we are concerned that our recruitment figures have remained stagnant while we have more than 1,000 nursing vacancies.
We have the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act which became law in 2016
and requires health service organisations to use a prescribed method to calculate and maintain the nurse staffing level in certain wards. We are building on this achievement by working in partnership with NHS to ensure the effective implementation of this law including developing a toolkit for our members to use to calculate staffing on designated wards.”