NURSING STAFF IN WALES ARE SHORT OF 1719 TEAM MEMBERS.

SIGN OUR PETITION TO GIVE WALES THE FULL TEAM OF NURSES WE DESPERATELY NEED.

We are calling on the Welsh Government to extend Section 25b to include in-patient mental health and community nursing for safe and effective nursing for all.

The Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act was passed in 2016 and was the first of its kind in Europe to put nurse staffing levels into law.

 

Section 25B of the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 requires health boards and NHS trusts in Wales to take all reasonable steps to maintain a specified nurse staffing level. The nurse staffing level is the number and skill mix of nurses required to provide sensitive patient care. In addition health boards and trusts are required to inform the public of the levels of nursing staff on any ward covered by Section 25B.

 

When the law was first passed, Section 25B only applied to acute adult medical and surgical wards. On the 1 October 2021 it was extended to children’s wards. We want it to apply in all settings where nursing care is provided, starting with community nursing and mental health in-patient wards.

 

Everyone deserves to receive safe and effective care in the Welsh National Health Service. We need to make sure there is a full team of highly skilled nursing staff to provide the life-saving care patients deserve.

#ForTheFullTeam

How to get involved

Sign our petition #ForTheFullTeam

How has RCN Wales calculated this nursing vacancy figure?

The Welsh Government does not publish a national vacancy figure for nursing staff (unlike England). This RCN estimate is therefore based on the vacancy data we have found in health board papers. The data mainly relates to May 2021, but there are inconsistencies. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board data refers only to nursing and midwifery vacancies at Agenda for Change Band 5, while Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has published registered nurse vacancies data from just two hospitals (Prince Charles Hospital and Royal Glamorgan Hospital). Data for Powys Teaching health board refers to nursing vacancies in December 2019. Further, the estimate only accounts for vacant posts that have been advertised publicly.

 

This illustrates how difficult it is to ascertain the nurse vacancy figure in Wales. RCN Wales has called on the Welsh Government to publish a national vacancy figure for many years. Our nursing staff are struggling to provide the best health care to the public whilst missing the team members and colleagues they should have. The Welsh Government needs to plan better to deliver safer and more effective health care services to the public and to do this they need to know how many nurses and nursing staff are missing.

Health BoardVacancy Figure (FTE)MonthSource Information
Aneurin Bevan165.45May 2021Link
Betsi Cadwaladr541November 2020Link
Cwm Taf Morgannwg97.9May 2021Link
Cardiff and the Vale155September 2021Link
Hywel Dda408May 2021Link
Powys88.1December 2019Link
Swansea264May 2021Link
Wales1,719.45May 2021As described above