Thursday, 11 February 2016

Is the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill going to cause mayhem .

It would have been very difficult for any Political Party to have opposed Kirsty Williams’ Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill which passed Stage 4, the final stage, of the legislative process. yesterday 

As Subordinate Central gleefully pointed out

The Bill will see Wales become the first part of Europe with a legal duty to have sufficient nurse staffing levels on hospital wards.
Over 4,500 members of the public have signed petitions in support of the Bill which, which is now scheduled to receive royal assent in March.
Kirsty’s name was drawn out of a ballot for the chance to introduce her own law in December 2013.
Kirsty Williams who is leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“This bill shows the ambition the Welsh Liberal Democrats have for Wales. We have today ensured that Wales will become the first part of Europe with a legal duty on safe staffing levels.
“The premise of my More Nurses Bill is very simple: nurses who have fewer patients to care for, can spend more time with each patient. As a result, they can provide better, safer care.
“With all the bad headlines the Welsh NHS has had over the past few years, I am pleased that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have today delivered this good news story.
“Just this week the Welsh Liberal Democrats have delivered over £200m for our schools, 5,000 apprenticeships and now we have delivered on a law to ensure safe nurse staffing levels in our hospitals.”

You can expect this  to feature  highly for the LibDems in next May's Assembly elections.

But can anyone who supported this tell me what happens if a ward is short of nurses.

Will it  close?

Will non urgent patients be sent home

Will we see more Agency Nurses drafted in to cover absentee NHS  staff resulting in a massive increase in NHS costs?

Of course hopefully we will see more Nursed employed by the Welsh NHS , but will they have the resources to pay for it.

As I said it would have been difficult to vote against such an aspiration.

I have recently had two operations carried out on a Neurology Ward  where I was n o where as incapacitated  as many of my fellow patients and I was placed in a side room because I didn't have to be constantly monitored.

It was clearly one of the Wards, where it was vital that it was fully staffed . Though a nurse informed me that another ward attached to the department constantly has staffing problems

Although La Pasionaria's bill is a brilliant aspiration . I am not sure the practicalities of enforcing it have been clearly thought out.

I really hope I am wrong and in five years the LibDems can really point to a success story.

It would be tragic if it ended up making things worse.

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