Welsh neonatal units short staffed, report warns

A new report from the National Assembly of Wales Children and Young People Committee has found that over 80 nurses are required at thirteen neonatal units in Wales to ensure recommended requirements are met.

Welsh neonatal units short staffed, report warns

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 12th September 2012

The Welsh Assembly said that more needs to be done to ensure that staffing levels improve.  An assessment found that 83 full time nurses are required to make up the shortfall, despite a heath committee inquiry in 2010 which called for steps to be taken to address the problem urgently.

Key Issues

In their report, the Committee address key issues such as shortage of staff, nurse education and training, medical staffing, cot capacity, parent and community services and neonatal transport services.  They acknowledged that improvements, while slow, had been made, and made a number of recommendations for continued development.  However, they also stated that ‘it has been well documented over a number of years that there have been problems with the provision of neonatal services, and the Committee therefore remains concerned at the seemingly slow progress in addressing these problems; and would call for concerted action at local and national level to deliver a consistently high-quality service for our most vulnerable babies’.

Conclusions

The Committee stated that:

“Whilst the Committee recognises that the local health boards are at different stages in the updating of their neonatal action plans, in order to take into account the Neonatal Capacity Review 2012 report, we will continue to monitor progress and ask that the Minister provides a written update to the Committee in December 2012, followed by a further oral evidence session in Spring 2013.  We will then make a decision on whether a more detailed inquiry is necessary”.

The full report can be accessed below.

Source:  National Assembly for Wales, Children and Young People Committee, September 2012

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