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Wales to Indroduce Minimum ‘Nurse Staffing Act’ in April 2017

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The Welsh Health Secretary has today announced that NHS Wales is preparing the consultation on the ‘Nurse Staffing Act of 2016’, which will look at the minimum staffing levels within acute trusts in Wales from April 2017.

The Nursing Staffing Act 2016, which was passed in March, requires Welsh health boards and NHS Trusts to comply with set minimum staffing requirements. The nurse to patient ratio will be determined by professional judgement, patient acuity and evidence based workforce tools.

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The consultation, which will begin in the autumn, will help to develop the guidance for these changes.

This groundbreaking move has been praised by patients, staff and union bosses.

According to plans laid out today, adult acute medical and surgical inpatient wards will be required to abide by this requirement from April 2018.

Chief nursing officer for Wales Jean White said: “We want to ensure that the nursing workforce is appropriate to meet the needs of patients in the NHS in Wales and this act provides a route map for NHS organisations to determine what is needed.”

Many Nurses are calling for NHS England and NHS Scotland to follow suit.

Do you think NHS England and NHS Scotland needs to follow in the footsteps of their Welsh counterparts and introduce a National Minimum Nurse Staffing Act?