Plaid AM urges Welsh Government to intervene
Welsh Government ministers must intervene to halt controversial plans to change nursing rotas in north Wales.
That’s the view of Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd, who will be leading an Assembly debate today calling on ministers to take action.
The plans, if approved by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, would mean nurses and Health Care Support Workers being forced to work an extra shift unpaid as the health board would impose unpaid breaks on them.
The response from nurses, unions and Plaid Cymru has been fierce, prompting Plaid Cymru to table the debate today [Wednesday, 18 September].
Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said: “This debate is intended to highlight the proposals, which effectively expect nurses to be on-call throughout their unpaid breaks and will mean an extra half-hour unpaid per shift. That’s unacceptable when nurses are already working long hours under pressure, not least because one in 10 nursing posts are vacant within the health board.
“One nurse told us this would be the final nail in the coffin for nurses and it’s clear from the response to Plaid’s 3,300-strong petition that many nurses agree with her.
“I am very concerned that the gap between senior management and frontline staff is so great that they do not realise that losing nurses’ goodwill is the price they will pay for this change. Nursing morale is low – this will take it even lower. Maintaining goodwill among the 4,095 nursing staff affected by these proposed changes is essential if the NHS in north Wales is to succeed.
“That’s why I have called the debate. I want the health minister Vaughan Gething to listen to those on the frontline, to the patients and the general public who support our fantastic nurses. If the health board tries to push through these changes, I want the health minister to intervene. Betsi has been in special measures for more than four years now and is under the direct control of the health minister’s department. He can stop this happening.”