Let Kirsty Williams know your views on nursing levels in Wales

Kirsty Williams and Peter Black visit nursesWelsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has been on a mission for some time to ensure minimum nursing levels in Welsh hospitals. She explained on this site why this was important in a post in March this year.

Evidence is increasing from across the world on the positive impact that nurse staffing levels have on patient care and the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses who have fewer patients to tend are able to spend a greater amount of time with each patient and as a result can provide better care. If they are more easily able to identify potential problems with a patient’s care, then they are able to play a preventative, rather than a simply reactive, role and consequently reduce the level of treatment needed and the cost of this care to the NHS. It also means better support for staff which leads to more manageable workloads, increased job satisfaction and reduced levels of stress or burnout.

Kirsty’s attempts to put staffing levels on a statutory footing has now reached the next stage. She has published a draft Bill and is currently running a consultation on it. You can access the Bill and the Consultation Document here.

If you live in Wales and you have an experience or opinion you want to contribute, please do so by emailing [email protected] by 12th September

Kirsty had this to stay about the consultation:

Whenever I’m talking to people across Wales about my campaign, they are shocked when I tell them there is no legal requirement for safe nurse staffing levels on our hospital wards. My plan will ensure that we get more nurses onto wards, giving nurses more time to care for each patient and ensuring better outcomes for patients, as well as improving working conditions for staff.

In places like California and Australia where similar legislation has been passed, patient care has improved with lower mortality and readmission rates, fewer slips and falls or medication errors.  Nursing costs in those places have decreased through better workforce planning, which reduces spending on overtime and temporary staff.

I’m pleased to launch my draft Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill for consultation and look forward to hearing the views of staff, patients and health experts on this proposal.  The overwhelming results elsewhere in the world show the need for safe nurse staffing levels on our hospital wards. It’s about time we had a good news story for our NHS in Wales.

Her draft bill itself is based on feedback to an earlier consultation on the general principles of the Bill to which more than 30 organisations contributed. Between now and 12 September, Kirsty will be touring hospitals and clinics to speak to nurses. The photo above shows her visiting Morriston Hosptial in Swansea with Peter Black AM. Already more than 3000 people have signed Kirsty’s petition or written to their AM asking them to back the Bill.

Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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