Welsh landmarks illuminated with nursing workforce warnings – Nursing Times

‘Nurses have made their voice heard loud and clear’
19 October, 2022 By
Source:&nbsp RCN Wales
Stark messages of concern about workforce shortages and nurse pay in Wales have been projected onto landmark building across the country’s capital.
On Tuesday evening, the Royal College of Nursing in Wales beamed the number of nurse vacancies and overtime hours worked by nursing staff onto a stadium, castle and City Hall in Cardiff.
Those behind the move said it “illuminated the Welsh Government’s failure to get a grip on growing vacancy figures”.
It was revealed last month that the number of registered nurse vacancies in the Welsh NHS has soared to at least 3,000 – an increase of almost 70% on the year before.
RCN Wales has stressed that improving pay will help aid the recruitment and retention of nursing staff, but warned the Welsh Government’s latest award was, in real terms, a pay cut.
Nurses and other health workers across the UK are currently engaging in strike ballots held by unions, including the RCN, in response to the below-inflation pay awards from governments for 2022-23.
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Most NHS nurses on Agenda for Change contracts in England and Wales have been given a £1,400 pay increase – in line with the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations.
Meanwhile, nurses in Northern Ireland are still waiting for a formal announcement on pay amid budget constraints.
And in Scotland, nurses rejected a 5% pay increase offer earlier this year. It is understood that unions, including the RCN, are currently negotiating a new deal.
The RCN has been campaigning for a pay increase 5% above current inflation rates.
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On Cardiff Castle, RCN Wales projected the words: “Every week, NHS Wales nurses work 67,780 hours overtime to cover 3,000 nurse vacancies. It’s time to pay them fairly.”
The capital’s City Hall also had a message reiterating the need to pay nurses fairly, while Cardiff Stadium saw the words: “Nurses can’t afford to nurse.”

Richard Jones
Chair of the RCN Wales board Richard Jones said: “The stunt, which illuminated the Welsh Government’s failure to get a grip on growing vacancy figures… came at a time when RCN members are voting on whether to take strike action in response to the Welsh Government’s recent pitiful pay award to health care staff working in the NHS on Agenda for Change contracts.”
He added: “It is very clear that patient safety may well be at risk and that taking better care of our nurses, including paying them appropriately for the safety-critical work that they do, is a vital step to sustaining the nursing workforce within NHS Wales and ensuring that the people of Wales receive safe and effective care.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Nursing staff shortage is an issue being experienced globally and is something that we are committed to addressing through good workforce planning; effective recruitment and retention strategies, including international recruitment; and standardised programmes of clinical supervision and preceptorship for our nursing and midwifery workforce.
“In announcing our pay award for the NHS workforce in Wales, we made clear that without additional funding from the UK Government, there are limits to how far we can go to address these concerns in Wales and have called on the UK ministers to provide additional funding necessary for fair pay rises for public sector workers and take urgent action now to reduce inflation and provide the help people need during these difficult times.”

Cardiff castle

City Hall
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