Staffing and workload of most concern to Welsh nurses
Heavy workloads and decreasing staff levels topped the list of concerns for nurses in Wales last year, according to a survey by the Royal College of Nursing.
The findings from the RCN’s 2013 employment survey for Wales are based on 1,357 responses.
Workload and stress were the main personal concerns for nursing staff, ranked above all other concerns about their health, job security or personal finances.
Half of all respondents said they had worked on at least two occasions in the previous 12 months, despite not feeling well enough to do so, and 53% worked extra hours on every shift.
On staffing levels, 55% reported a drop in the level of registered nurses over the previous 12 months and 28% reported a drop in healthcare assistants and other support workers.
Just over a third of respondents working in the NHS reported that changes in staffing levels were leading to increased patient and client caseloads.
In addition, survey respondents in Wales were less likely to receive most types of mandatory training than colleagues in the rest of the UK.
Peter Meredith-Smith, acting director of RCN Wales, said: “Despite feeling undervalued, underpaid and under threat our nurses continue to put in the hours and dedication to deliver high quality care.
“Excellent patient care is dependent upon the skills and expertise of nurses but there are simply not enough,” he said. “To realise the shared goal of reshaping our health service and meeting the needs and demands of patients, it is vital the current nurse shortages are reversed.”
The college has around 24,000 members in Wales.
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