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Nurse leader’s warning over NHS Wales future funding

This article was taken from: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-43351261

By BBC Health News

Politicians across the UK must find a better way of financing the NHS if it is to continue to meet demand, the director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales has said.

Tina Donnelly said a lack of resources has left nurses feeling they are unable to fulfil their duty of care.

She warned they could quit and the NHS would be left without enough staff.

The Welsh Government has said there were more registered nurses working than ever before.

There are currently 29,345 nurses, midwives and health visitors in the Welsh NHS

Ann Thomas, a nurse who recently retired after nearly 40 years in hospitals across south Wales, said she had come to feel “disenchanted” with her job.

She said: “It was number crunching; it was getting the patients through as quickly as you can. I didn’t want that. I felt that wasn’t why I became a nurse.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said: “We know there’s spiralling demand within the Welsh NHS, if we don’t have the staff to meet the demand waiting times will increase.”

He called on Welsh Labour Health Secretary Vaughan Gething to “pull his finger out and get on top of this”.

Mr Gething said that since 2014 the number of nurse training places commissioned has risen by 68%.

He said: “It’s important to note that figures will fluctuate over the year as nurses retire and new graduates come into the system, but health boards are reporting more nurses joining the profession than leaving, with overall numbers continuing to increase.

“Despite the severe impact of eight years of UK government austerity, we continue to invest record levels in the NHS workforce.”

Mr Gething added: “This year we’re investing £107m in education and training programmes for healthcare professionals, resulting in a 10% increase in commissioned nurse training places on last year.”

The Welsh Government launched the Train, Work, Live recruitment campaign last year, aimed at promoting nursing as a job and Wales as a place to live and work.

The NHS in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Government, which provides funding largely sourced from the grant it receives from the UK government.