Safe nurse staffing laws for Wales from April 2018

Hospitals in Wales will have to implement safe nurse staffing levels under the law from April 2018, the Welsh Assembly has announced.
Jean White

Jean White
'This is a route map,' says Jean White

Hospitals in Wales will be legally obliged to implement safe nurse staffing levels from April 2018, the Welsh Assembly has announced.

Nursing experts are about to start working with the Welsh Assembly to develop the guidance to be used for the UK’s first law on safe nurse staffing.

This guidance will go out to consultation later this year, according to the timetable for implementing the new Nursing Staffing Levels Act announced last week.

Duty of NHS Trusts

The Act places a duty on health boards and NHS Trusts to calculate and maintain nurse staffing levels in adult acute medical and surgical inpatient wards.

Hospitals will have to report to ministers on their staffing levels.

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said the commencement of the act was ‘wholeheartedly welcomed’.

‘We look forward to working with the Welsh Government to ensure the enablement of appropriate nurse staffing levels and skill mix will deliver sufficient time for nurses to deliver safe care,’ she said.

Chief nursing officer for Wales Professor Jean White added: ‘We want to ensure that the nursing workforce is appropriate to meet the needs of patients in Wales and this act provides a route map for the NHS to determine what is needed.’

Further information

'Crunch time' for Wales safe nurse staffing bill