Nurses are expected to play a leading role in a major strategy to ease pressure on Welsh emergency services by creating a network of walk-in centres.
The Delivering Emergency Care Strategy blueprint, published last week, was drawn up by the Welsh Assembly, with input from the RCN, to reduce unnecessary A&E attendance.
As part of this, urgent care centres – based on nurse-led walk-in centres and out-of-hours GP centres in England – will be piloted in four areas this year.
Welsh health minister Edwina Hart said: ‘Everyone recognises the pressures the unscheduled care system is under. By rebalancing the system we can not only reduce those pressures but also provide better care.’
The announcement follows a visit by Ms Hart to a walk-in centre in Bristol last month, where she said she was considering the idea.