‘Wales needs a national recruitment plan to support our new staffing law’

Nurse staffing lead wants to see an end to competition between employers 

Nurse staffing lead wants to see an end to competition between employers 

Joanna Doyle

A national recruitment strategy for Wales would prevent NHS boards from having to compete with each other for nurses and improve the effectiveness of mandatory staffing levels, a senior nurse said.

National nurse staffing programme lead Joanna Doyle pointed to the need for an ‘overarching, multi-faceted’ recruitment plan to ensure the National Staffing Levels (Wales) Act, introduced this year, remains sustainable.

Ms Doyle said: ‘Boards are thinking newly qualified nurses are joining them, but finding they’ve accepted another offer instead.’

She believes matching boards' offers with candidates’ preferences would save the ‘costly and time-consuming’ process of restarting recruitment from scratch.

'The act empowers nurses'

Ms Doyle was speaking last night following the premier of An Act of Compassion, a film made for RCN Wales to mark its success in lobbying the Welsh Government to introduce safe staffing legislation. 

She added: ‘We set out to empower nurses, and that is absolutely what this act is doing.’

Ms Doyle said work to improve how the act is applied is gathering pace.

The legislation currently only covers nurse staffing in adult acute, medical and surgical wards. Projects are under way to mandate safe staffing in five further settings: mental health inpatient, paediatric inpatient, health visiting, district nursing and care homes.

Acuity tools

In February, the Welsh Government recruited a paediatric project lead, and an acuity tool necessary to meet the act’s requirements has since been developed. Ms Doyle believes similar posts would 'accelerate other workstreams to the same level’.

The RCN is calling for safe staffing laws to be enacted in all parts of the UK, with RCN Scotland beginning its own campaign on 5 September.

Director of RCN Wales Tina Donnelly called the film educational and inspirational and added: 'It not only enables all nurses to become politically active but it absolutely demonstrates the reason they need to be.'

Related material

An Act of Compassion - RCN Wales' campaign for safe staffing

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