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More Nurses needed

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post


Like the UK Parliament, the Welsh Assembly has a system whereby backbench members can bring forward their own legislation.


I took advantage of that, when I steered the first private members bill into law last year on the subject of Park Homes.

Now Kirsty Williams, who represents Brecon and Radnorshire is seeking to make Wales the first country in the UKto establish a legal duty for safe nurse staffing levels and I am backing her all the way.


Her idea, which is being debated for the first time on 5th March seeks to enshrine minimum nurse staffing levels in law.

Kirsty is working with the Royal College of Nursing to encourage people to support the campaign to allow the legislation to be taken forward and properly debated.


There is increasing evidence from across the world that nurse staffing levels have a significant impact on patient care and the recruitment and retention of staff.


Yet sadly in Wales our nurses are under immense pressure with high workloads, which means they are unable to give the level of care they would like.


It is staggering to see the vast difference in the ratio of nurses to patients in Wales when compared to the rest of the UK. Our nurses are being forced to do more, but with less. Wales deserves better than that.


Mandatory nurse staffing levels in other countries have led to increased recruitment and retention of nurses, reduced reliance on agency staff, fully funded budgets for safe staffing levels, better patient care, more manageable workloads, increased job satisfaction and reduced stress.


Safe nurse staffing levels would also be a more efficient use of funding, reducing reliance on costly agency staff and overtime, reducing lengthy hospital stays and reducing the risk of harm.

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