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Welsh health and care workforce speaks out

04 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Photo Victoria Jones PA Images

As the Welsh NHS marks 75 years of universal healthcare, royal colleges and professional bodies representing tens of thousands of NHS workers have come together in a joint call to protect patients.

The Welsh royal colleges and professional (RCAP) bodies advisory group, convened by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has today (Tuesday 4 July) launched a joint paper, endorsed by 28 national organisations, calling for action to by increase staffing numbers and improve workforce wellbeing.

The group has asked that measures be put in place to prioritise the retention and recruitment of staff, guarantee protected time for education, research, teaching and quality improvement and invest in the community workforce and new models of care.

The new briefing – The people who care – will be launched at a lunchtime event in the Oriel at the Senedd to celebrate NHS 75.

Hosted by the RCP and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), it will be attended by over 50 health and care staff from across a variety of specialties, career grades and professions.

Members of the Senedd and Welsh Government ministers have been invited to drop in, learn more about the recommendations, and meet the people who care for us when we need them most.

Royal colleges and professional bodies have also signed up to support calls for:

  • A refreshed national vision for the Welsh NHS at 100.
  • Improved workforce data collection and analysis.
  • A renewed commitment to preventing ill-health.


Ahead of the launch, Dr Olwen Williams OBE, outgoing RCP vice president for Wales said:  “We need to do everything we can to make the Welsh NHS a flexible, enjoyable, and innovative place to work, where staff are supported to do their job well, where they can thrive, learn, and feel valued, where people want to come to work.

“Hundreds of thousands of patients need our help right now, and there simply aren’t enough of us to go around. We desperately need more staff – a bigger workforce means more time to care for our patients and shorter waiting lists.

“This joint paper brings together almost 30 professions working together in the Welsh health and care service, united in our desire to care for people in Wales to the best of our ability. But health and care staff across Wales are reporting heavy workloads and staff shortages.

“The General Medical Council recently reported that “urgent action is needed to break a ‘vicious cycle’ of unmanageable workloads, dissatisfaction, and burnout”, with more people than ever saying they are likely to leave the UK workforce. It’s absolutely vital that we prioritise the work–life balance and wellbeing of our current staff to make sure we keep their knowledge and expertise in the NHS.”

Helen Whyley, director, RCN Wales added: “Without a workforce, there is no NHS. Today, nearly 30 organisations have joined together with a single voice to call on the Welsh government to invest in our staff.

“Patients, now and in the future, need to be confident that they are receiving the best possible care in a timely manner, from highly skilled professionals.

“This means we need investment in retention and an increase in flexible working. The Welsh government must also invest in safe staffing legislation and commit to outlining a timeline for the extension of Section 25B of the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 to community settings and inpatient mental health wards.’

Jane Shears, acting national director, British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Cymru said:  “BASW Cymru fully endorses these recommendations and join our partners in calling for urgent action to improve workers’ rights.

“It is not enough for Wales’s health and care staff to merely survive. To be fully valued – and provide excellent care – they need the support, training and working conditions to thrive.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Downing St have put the NHS into administration, Sajid Javid has called for a share-holders meeting, (he calls it a Royal Commission,) to parcel it up…

He must be itching to grab a slice of the pie before Hunt and Rishi run off with it to the USA…

@Slash, Burn and Pillage (UK) unLtd

Bachgen o Lerpwl
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Is this why Welsh ambulances queue outside English hospitals day after day. Month after month

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Now all the PPE billions that Fat Shanks and Rishi shared-out/lost to fraud could have refurbished the NHS fit for purpose in the C21…

But Hunt has had other plans for many years…

The Devil is in Downing Street…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Rishi Sunak talks about an Indian Summer for ‘Britain’ and how he and Mr Modi are in Cahoots and watch the trade deal that follows…I wonder what the New Conservatives think of his holiday plans and a massive increase in workers (much needed)…the video is to be found @10downingstreet via YouTube worth a watch/listen…

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