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Royal College of Nursing calls on Welsh Government to eradicate ‘corridor care’

03 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Hospital ward. Photo Jeff Moore/PA Wire

The Royal College of Nursing will call on the Welsh Government to eradicate “corridor care” as it releases a new report on the topic of clinical care being delivered in inappropriate crowded areas.

In a recent RCN’s recent survey of nursing and midwifery staff on corridor care, 45% of respondents in Wales agreed with the statement that clinical care took place in an inappropriate environment (e.g. an additional bed in a bay, waiting room, a corridor or a location not designed for patients).

In her keynote speech at the union’s Congress in Newport, Acting General Secretary and Chief Executive of the union, Professor Nicola Ranger will highlight how corridor care is ‘a symptom of a system in crisis’, with patient demand in all settings, from primary to community and social care, outstripping workforce supply and resulting in patients being forced to turn to hospitals.


Executive Director of the Royal College of Nursing Wales Helen Whyley said: “On my visits to clinical workplaces throughout Wales, I am witnessing an NHS in crisis, held together by dedicated nurses doing their best to keep patients safe.

“Due to overcrowding, emergency departments are often bursting at the seams with extra trolleys in areas that are not equipped for clinical care and patients being sat in chairs for days and nights on end.”

“This isn’t just a problem within emergency departments though; to ease the overcrowding it is now everyday practice to ‘board’ extra patients on wards, often in the middle of ward areas, in fire escapes and in corridors with no extra staff allocated to look after them.”

“Nursing staff are doing what they always do: finding their way around problems to provide the best care that they can for their patients in difficult circumstances. But they are experiencing moral distress and burnout.

“They are upset that they cannot provide the dignity and fundamentals of care that their patients require, and they’re worried about some of the tough decisions they must make. RCN Wales is calling for the Welsh government to act immediately and eradicate corridor care before the winter.”


Sara Morgan, Senior Lecturer at University of South Wales and RCN Emergency Care Forum member for Wales, added: “Patient flow is vital to the safe management of emergency departments (EDs). Overcrowding in EDs leads to long waits for assessment, delayed ambulance offload times and ultimately safe, timely and efficient care is compromised.

“But patient flow must mean the right patient being moved to the right care environment at the right time.

“It is vital to ensure primary and community care services are accessible and utilised to prevent unnecessary ED admissions. Senior decision makers need to be working on the ED front door offering support in streaming and redirection.

“We need an NHS that is able to deal with the fluctuation in demands, with a flexible workforce. There needs to be a system change with the Welsh government investing in both hospital capacity and social care”.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 hours ago

A change of Minister would be step in the right direction…

Last edited 2 hours ago by Mab Meirion
1 hour ago

Get rid of every post with the words gender, inclusivity or diversity in the tittle. These are ridiculous non-jobs that cost the NHS a fortune. Then we can the cull of management.

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