“The call is clear from nurses – it’s up to government to prove they’re listening” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

Plaid Cymru is today calling on Welsh Government to use “every devolved lever” to make an improved pay offer to nurses.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, the party’s health and care spokesperson says that nurses “are at their wits end” and that the unintended consequences of inaction will be for more nurses to leave the profession altogether.

Literature from the Royal College of Nursing indicates there were at least 2,900 registered nurse vacancies last year and that the Welsh Government “is driving nursing staff out of the NHS.

Plaid Cymru will make the call on Welsh Government in a Senedd debate tabled by the party today (Wednesday 23 November).

However, in an amendment to the motion, Welsh Government has proposed that this call to action be deleted.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said:

“Nurses are over-worked, under-paid and at their wits end. If the news that too many nurses are leaving their vocation isn’t already an indication that things are seriously wrong in the healthcare service, then the recent vote for strike action must be a wake-up call for government.

“However, while nurses are calling out for help, is Welsh Government listening? Plaid Cymru is taking a debate to the Senedd calling on Welsh Government to use every power in its disposal to come up with a better pay offer for our hard-working nurses. Yet the only action they’ve taken in response, is to amend the motion by deleting that call.

“Welsh nurses deserve fair pay for their essential work, yet they’re currently facing a real terms pay cut, as a result of Westminster’s economic crisis and Welsh Government’s mis-management of our healthcare service. Nurses are the backbone of our NHS, but a lack of fair pay will force many more to leave, leaving the workforce even more depleted and weakened. Ultimately, the people that will pay the price of this government mismanagement of our healthcare service is the patients.”