Staff at troubled Welsh health board raise more than 1,800 staffing concerns

Figures obtained from Betsi Cadwaladhr University Health Board show staff raised concerns over the 'lack of trained staff' 1,816 times over the last three years

More than 1,800 concerns about inadequate staffing were raised by staff at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which was placed in special measures earlier this month.

Figures obtained following a freedom of information request by a local newspaper show that, from January 2012 to June 2015, there were 1,816 reports made to the health board’s incident reporting system about the ‘lack of suitable/trained staff’.

RCN Wales director, Tina Donnelly, said the figures were ‘truly worrying’.

‘The Welsh government is aware of the pressures the NHS is facing in Wales, and the time for change is now. With the private member’s bill, Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales), that Kirsty Williams introduced currently being considered by the health and social care committee, we could ensure that health boards have a lawful duty to provide appropriate nurse staffing levels and skill mix on NHS wards.

'This will not only protect patients but will go a long way in tackling statistics such as these regarding staffing concerns.’

A spokesperson for the board said the figures reflect difficulties locally and nationally in recruitment.

‘We have to use agency staff and locums,' he added. 'We recognise that this is not an ideal situation and we are making every effort to recruit permanent staff.

'The figures record the number of times staff have reported concerns rather than the number of individual staffing incidents. There can be problems with staffing on a particular ward that might be reported on more than one occasion. Sometimes it is because staff sickness lasts more than a single day.’

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