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.
In California where a similar law was introduced 30 day mortality rates fell by 10-13%. The RCN has long campaigned for safe nurse staffing legislation to be introduced in Wales and we believe this new law will greatly improve patient safety and provide patients with the nursing care and attention they deserve.
Retired RCN member Richard Jones MBE also submitted an e-petition on the Assembly website which garnered a staggering 1,679 signatures! The Bill will put a legal requirement onto the health boards to ensure that there are an adequate number of registered nurses on a ward.
Tina Donnelly, Director of the RCN in Wales said: “Kirsty Williams AM’s, ‘Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill’ is the opportunity for Wales to lead the way in UK health care, by enshrining safe staffing levels as a part of law. Nurses in Wales have spoken personally to family, friends and neighbours, in support of this Bill and many of them have been very surprised to find that we do not currently have this legislation already within the NHS in Wales. Without a law like this our lives and the lives of those we care about are being put at risk.”
She added: “The RCN is asking all of our Assembly Members to vote yes tomorrow to support the bill. The bill will improve patient care and ensure better outcomes. The safety of patients in Wales should not be ignored.”