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Welsh nurses get worst deal on working conditions

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Nurses in Wales are getting a rougher deal on training than their colleagues in the rest of the UK, according to the RCN.

They are also under more financial pressure than nurses in the rest of the UK, the college has suggested.

Extrapolating data from the 2009 RCN Employment Survey, the RCN said in all areas of mandatory training significantly fewer nurses in Wales had undertaken such training than the UK as a whole. For example 50 per cent in infection control in Wales compared with a UK average of 71 per cent. Nurses in Wales are also significantly less likely to be able to take time off for training – 40 per cent compared with 48 per cent.

Also more nurses in Wales say they are finding it difficult financially – 28 per cent compared to 23 per cent of all UK nurses – and more have caring responsibilities than the UK average – 79 per cent compared to 68 per cent of all UK nurses.  

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: “The report highlights the fact that hardworking nurses and health care support workers across the country are finding it extremely tough.”

She added: “Many nurses work bank shifts and extra hours to supplement their salary to support their families, spouse redundancy and caring responsibilities. They also take on extra shifts because of staff shortages.”

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