Analysis

Nurses welcome safe staffing law in Wales but warn it may be hard to enforce

Safe staffing levels of nurses will soon be mandatory in Welsh hospitals, including an allowance to cover absences for holidays and sick leave. But are there enough nurses to go round?

Safe staffing levels of nurses will soon be mandatory in Welsh hospitals, including an allowance to cover absences for holidays and sick leave. But are there enough nurses to go round?

  • Law mandates safe level of nurse staffing in Wales by April 2018
  • Established nursing staffing levels to be raised to allow for absences
  • Staffing levels to be recalculated at least once every six months

The first nurse staffing law in Europe is now being implemented in Wales, but the RCN and senior members of the profession warn that nursing shortages and financial problems could make it hard to enforce.

Statutory guidance published this month by the Welsh government and NHS Wales aims to ensure that hospital wards in the country have enough qualified nurses to care holistically for patients under the new legislation.

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