Local Senedd Member Samuel Kurtz has praised the nurses of West Wales, calling them the “backbone” of the NHS but added they "need support and need it now", following the publication of the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Nursing in Numbers’ 2022 report.
The Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Senedd Member recently met with nurses from Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) in Cardiff and on a visit to Glangwili Hospital, to discuss the issues and difficulties raised within the RCN’s study.
The report found that in 2021, 74% of those that responded to the Royal College of Nursing’s employment survey expressed that they worked additional hours at least once a week; 42% of these hours were not paid.
This means that the number of registered nurses employed by NHS Wales and working overtime is 16,945. If each of these nurses worked an additional average of four hours a week, this equates to 67,780 extra hours of work.
Also recently revealed is that during 2021-22, HDUHB’s registered nurse vacancy rate resided at 539.2 – approximately 20 per cent – which is the highest in Wales.
Speaking about the report, the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire politician Samuel Kurtz MS said:
“The report is a damning indictment of the unfair and understaffed working environment currently facing our Welsh NHS; and this is being seen right across the board, in every region of Wales.
“Day-in, day-out our hardworking nursing staff face an environment which does not have the support and assistance it needs. Our nurses are the backbone of the NHS, taking care of our loved ones, but it is about time we start to take better care of them. They need support and need it now.
“We’re about to enter some incredibly difficult winter months. The Welsh Government needs to accept the recommendations with the RCN’s Nursing in Numbers report.”
You can read the RCN’s report by visiting https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/news/w-rcn-wales-publishes-workforce-report-as-welsh-parliament-debates-safe-nurse-staffing-levels-280922.
Picture taken by Natasha Hirst.