Kirsty Williams’ bill to ensure safe staffing levels for nurses takes a step closer to becoming law

Kirsty Williams’ bill to ensure that nursing levels in Welsh hospitals are put on a  safer, statutory footing has passed another parliamentary hurdle, as Wales Online reports:

A proposed law to introduce a legal minimum staffing level for nurses has overcome another hurdle after Assembly committee members passed amendments to the Bill.

The Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill, proposed by Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, would see an independent assessment for appropriate staffing levels in Welsh hospitals.

The proposal would see Wales become the first country in the UK with a legal duty on safe nurse staffing levels.

The Assembly’s Health and Social Services Committee voted to support Phase 2 of the Bill which will now move to Phase 3.

The Bill has the backing of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales.

The Minister insisted on the removal of the word “safe” from the title of the Bill, which has disappointed Kirsty, but she is pleased that it has passed another stage:

This has been a long journey, but we are a step closer towards safe staffing levels in all of our hospitals a step closer.

The premise of my More Nurses Bill is very simple: nurses who have fewer patients to care for, can spend more time with each patient.

As a result, they can provide better, safer care.

Nurses in Wales have to care for more patients per head than any other part of the UK. We simply can’t allow this situation to continue, which is why I hope all parties will back our significant and positive change today.

I’m disappointed the Minister has removed the word ‘safe’ from the bill.

While this won’t directly affect the outcomes of the bill, the removal of the word is a missed opportunity to symbolically say what the intentions of the bill are.

 

 

 

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One Comment

  • I had had considerable experience of the minimum staffing level concept. It is a real bind for any organisation and simply increases costs because operating on the level means anyone goes off and you have chaos. As for negotiating the level, that is a pain in itself and is a constant source of aggravation.
    What does the private sector do? What does the Canadian and Australian systems do.

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