Nurses are being urged to sign a petition that calls on National Assembly for Wales members to support a proposed bill that would see safe staffing levels become a legal requirement across the country.
The Royal College of Nursing is calling on health workers to encourage members of the Health and Social Care Committee to vote in favour of the Safe Nursing Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill, following its introduction into the National Assembly for Wales on 3 December.
“This piece of legislation is necessary to ensure patients in hospitals in Wales receive the nursing care they need and deserve”
Drafted by Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, the bill would also allow for Welsh ministers to extend this requirement to other NHS healthcare settings, once enough evidence around staff to patient ratios is developed in those areas.
If passed, the bill itself would not set out nationwide staffing levels, but would require Welsh ministers to provide guidance specifying minimum ratios for health organisations.
Former RCN deputy director for Wales Richard Jones set up the online petition, which claims the bill would improve patient safety and help to restore patients’ faith in the Welsh NHS.
“The RCNbelieves that this piece of legislation is necessary to ensure patients in hospitals in Wales receive the nursing care and attention they need and deserve, and allows nurses to be able to deliver care to the standard that they are trained and want to deliver,” adds the petition.
The Safe Nursing Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill is due to be considered by members of the Health and Social Care Committee on December 10, when they will decide how to proceed with its scrutiny.