Home / Royal Mail / North Wales frontline nurses ‘deserve’ pay rises, says MS

North Wales frontline nurses ‘deserve’ pay rises, says MS

DWYFOR Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor has called on Health Minister Eluned Morgan to urgently act on calls from the nursing sector to improve pay and working conditions for frontline nursing staff in North Wales.

Mr ap Gwynfor’s intervention comes as figures released by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN Cymru/ Wales) paint an alarming picture of the pressure and retention issues facing the nursing workforce across Wales, particularly at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales. 

He recently met Helen Whyley, Director of the Royal College of Nursing Cymru/ Wales at the launch of a report into the nursing workforce in Wales. 

Figures from the Royal College of Nursing (Wales) estimate that the number of registered nurse vacancies in Wales has risen from 1,719 in 2021 to at least 2,690 in 2022, with 636 of these vacancies at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. 

The figures also reveal a deficit in social care nursing staff, with 319 leaving the profession in 2021 and only 204 joining.

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In the last ten years the percentage of nursing staff that feel enthusiastic about their job has dropped by 19 per cent whilst those that feel they’re too busy to provide the level of care they would like has increased by 9 per cent.

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said the statistics in the report made for ‘sobering reading’, adding: “Not only has there been a significant increase in the number of nursing posts waiting to be filled, but there is also a deficit in social care nursing whilst the annual spend on agency staff skyrocketed by 41 per cent.

“Whilst nurses give the NHS an additional 67.78 hours a week, poor morale and retention problems are having a significant impact on the integrity of the service.

“Of the 2,690 nursing vacancies in Wales, 636 of them were at the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board – a health board still unable to get to grips with serious failings in the delivery of care and which is haemorrhaging public confidence.

“Healthcare workers have made huge sacrifices throughout the pandemic, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect patients and even spending days if not weeks away from their families in order to carry out their work.

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“The so called pay rise on offer by the Welsh Government is actually real terms decrease in pay, since it doesn’t even match inflation. Plaid Cymru fully supports nurses and their call for fair pay.

”If the Welsh Government wants to show their gratitude to NHS staff in Wales, they must guarantee fair pay for all healthcare workers, and provide meaningful support to make this an attractive career option for more people, and they must put in place a robust retention strategy.

“NHS staff working across Dwyfor Meirionnydd deserve a real terms pay rise above that proposed by the NHS pay review body.

“Anything less will fall short of giving some of our most critical workers the recognition they have earned during what will have been some of the toughest years of their professional lives.”

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