Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well Being & Sport
I am pleased to share with Members a copy of the Statutory Guidance for the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016.
Members will be aware that the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 received royal assent on 21 March 2016. That Act inserted new provisions into the NHS (Wales) Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”) about nurse staffing levels in adult acute medical and surgical inpatient wards. There is a phased commencement of the new provisions in the 2006 Act, with the duty to have regard to providing sufficient nurses (section 25A) commencing on 6 April 2017 and the duty to calculate and take steps to maintain nurse staffing levels (section 25B), the method by which nurse staffing levels are to be calculated (section 25C) and the duty placed upon Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts to submit a nurse staffing levels report to the Welsh Ministers (section 25E) commencing on 6 April 2018.
Section 25D(1) of the Act requires Welsh Ministers to issue guidance about the duties under sections 25B and 25C. Local Health Boards and any NHS Trust to which those sections apply must have regard to the guidance. In accordance with section 25D(4), the Welsh Ministers have consulted Local Health Boards, NHS Trusts, organisations representing providers of care homes and independent hospitals, and organisations representing others likely to be affected by the guidance. That consultation was conducted from 7 December 2016 to 7 April 2017. The responses have been analysed and have been set out and published in a consultation summary report.
The guidance was published on 2 November 2017, ahead of the commencement date for the remaining duties contained within the Act and in line with the NHS planning processes for 2018/19.