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RCN Wales calls for staffing to be a priority

Safe nursing staffing levels must be the first priority for the next Welsh government, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Wales has said, at the launch of Time to Care - the RCN's Welsh Government manifesto for the 2016 elections.

The RCN in Wales represents more than 24,500 nurses, the majority of which believe that protecting safe staffing levels must be the first priority for the next Welsh Government, the college said.

Another top concern highlighted in the document is ensuring dignity and quality in the personal care delivered to patients in their home. 

Gaynor Jones, RCN council member for Wales and Chair of the RCN Welsh Board, said: "Nurses are ready for the challenges that the next few years will bring, because they see it as an opportunity for more joint working and innovations in nursing to take shape.  

"We have to ensure that our voice is strong and that the public are aware that Time to Care is essential to providing safe, dignified care." 

Similarly, Tina Donnelly, director of RCN Wales, added: "We would urge all politicians in Wales irrespective of their party ... to take note of its content. By listening to the ideas of nurses and healthcare support workers we will be able to work together to improve the health of the people of Wales and safeguard healthcare services."

It called for nurses, midwives and health care support workers to be valued in the form of fair pay, protection from violence and access to continuing professional development.