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RCN Wales report calls for more emergency nurse practitioners

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The Royal College of Nursing in Wales has called for an increase in nurse practitioners and prescribers in emergency care.

Its report Emergency Care: A Call for Action, published this week, says nurses are “finding themselves under pressure resulting from a lack of investment in community care, unsafe staffing levels or a refusal to take advantage of innovative nursing roles”.

It says: “Emergency nurse practitioner posts are too rare in Wales and the NHS has been particularly slow in recognising the advantage of non-medical prescribing to emergency care departments.

“Quite simply the patient experience would be improved tremendously by avoiding unnecessary delays.”

The report also calls for the Welsh Assembly government to make sure local health boards are monitoring nurse staffing levels and skill mix.

This would “create a statistical record that can easily be used as an important indicator of outcome or risk”. 

Other recommendations in the report include improving out-of-hours primary care and investing in nursing home capacity and community care nurses, to help prevent emergency admissions.

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: “Our members have put together this document as a call to action and they strongly believe the implementation of the 12 recommendations would transform care and result in a positive experience for the patient and their relatives.”

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