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  1. ITV Report

Welsh NHS 'haemorrhaging' nurses, say Conservatives

The NHS in Wales is 'haemorrhaging' nurses, according to the Welsh Conservatives.

1000 nurses have left the profession since 2015, say the Welsh Tories Credit: PA

The party say they've obtained figures from Freedom of Information requests which show that, since 2015, over 1000 more nurses have left the profession here than have been recruited.

Four health boards - Betsi Cadwaladr, Powys teaching, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Cardiff and Vale - revealed a deficit of 797 nurses between them.

Betsi Cadwaladr fared worse - recording a deficit of 493 nurses, while Powys teaching was the only health board in surplus, with records showing a gain of 118 nurses.

The three remaining health boards - Hywel Dda, Cwm Taf and Aneurin Bevan - did not provide actual nurse numbers, but did release so called Full Time Equivalent (FTE) figures.

Between them, the health boards recorded a combined deficit of 232 nurses.

"These figures show that the Welsh NHS is haemorrhaging nurses, precisely at a time when demand has never been higher.

"It's clear that the unrelenting pressures caused by a lack of investment, leadership and proper staffing is demoralising experienced nurses, who are opting to leave, while putting off the next generation of nurses from coming through.

– Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary

In a statement, the Welsh Government Health Secretary Vaughan Gething challenged any party calling for more resources to 'set out where those resources will come from, or risk losing all credibility.'

He claimed that more registered nurses are working in the NHS than ever before.

Since 2014, the number of nurse training places commissioned has risen by 68%. This, alongside our international recruitment campaign, clearly demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the NHS continues to have a high quality workforce.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary

In 2017 the Welsh Government launched a campaign entitled 'Train, Work, Live', aimed at enticing more people to pursue medical careers in Wales.