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Illuminated buildings shine light on nurse vacancies and pay rates

Cardiff landmarks including the Principality Stadium and City Hall were projected with messages by RCN Wales to urge the government into action
Cardiff Bay light projection

Cardiff landmarks including the Principality Stadium and City Hall were projected with messages by RCN Wales to urge the government into action

Landmark buildings in Cardiff were illuminated this week in a bid to shed light on spiralling nursing vacancies.

The demonstration saw RCN Wales project nursing vacancy rates onto buildings around the Welsh capital, including Cardiff Castle and City Hall.

Blue lights were beamed on the Principality Stadium that spelt out ‘Nurses can’t afford to nurse’. The college said this aimed to highlight ‘the Welsh Government’s failure to address the growing number of staff vacancies’.

Lack of nurses has adverse

Cardiff landmarks including the Principality Stadium and City Hall were projected with messages by RCN Wales to urge the government into action

Cardiff Bay light projection
Message for Welsh Government projected on a building at Cardiff Bay

Landmark buildings in Cardiff were illuminated this week in a bid to shed light on spiralling nursing vacancies.

The demonstration saw RCN Wales project nursing vacancy rates onto buildings around the Welsh capital, including Cardiff Castle and City Hall.

Blue lights were beamed on the Principality Stadium that spelt out ‘Nurses can’t afford to nurse’. The college said this aimed to highlight ‘the Welsh Government’s failure to address the growing number of staff vacancies’.

Principality Stadium light projection
Stark warning projected on Principality Stadium

Lack of nurses has adverse effect on mortality rates

RCN Wales estimated that the number of registered nurse vacancies in NHS Wales has risen to at least 3,000 – which it said was over 1,200 more vacancies than last year.

‘Not having enough nursing staff can increase mortality rates by up to 26%, and we also know that improving nursing pay can aid the recruitment and retention we desperately need,’ said an RCN spokesperson.

‘But so far, the Welsh Government’s response to rising vacancies has been to cut nursing pay in real terms, with a so-called ‘pay rise’ amounting to just 72p an hour.’

Cardiff Castle light projection
Projection on Cardiff Castle

Pay offer is a real terms pay cut, says RCN

The college’s comments come as RCN members across the UK are voting on whether to take strike action in response to this year’s pay award to staff working in the NHS on Agenda for Change contracts.

As in England, nurses in Wales have been offered an extra £1,400 – or 4% – on their salaries. But with inflation expected to reach 11% this month, union leaders say this ‘pitiful’ offer is a real terms pay cut.

Call for funding to ensure fair pay rises

A Welsh Government spokesperson said that without extra funding from the UK government, it would be difficult to offer better pay to nurses.

They added: ‘We have called on UK ministers to provide additional funding necessary for fair pay rises for public sector workers and to take urgent action to reduce inflation and provide the help people need during these difficult times.’


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