Winner of latest Presiding Officer’s non-government Member Bill ballot announced

Published 12/12/2013   |   Last Updated 14/07/2014

Winner of latest Presiding Officer’s non-government Member Bill ballot announced

12 December 2013

The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales has announced the winner of the latest non-government Member Bill ballot.

Kirsty Williams, Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, will now be given the opportunity to present a proposal for a Minimum Nurse Staffing Levels Bill to the National Assembly for consideration.

The proposal states:

This legislation would require the government to produce regulations which set a minimum staffing level for nurses in Wales. These regulations would be required to set minimum nurse staffing levels for each different acute and specialist service. I am also mindful to include a requirement for the regulations to address the complexity of patients’ needs and on the skills mix in a hospital.

Kirsty Williams AM commented:

“I am very pleased that I have been successful in the ballot to introduce this proposed legislation.

"This significant change in the law has the potential to transform the quality of care provided in the Welsh NHS. It is staggering to see the vast difference in the ratio of nurses to patients in Wales when compared to the rest of the UK. Once again Welsh Labour's poverty of ambition has led to our NHS having to do more, but with less.

"NHS staff work incredibly hard, doing an exceptionally difficult job, but far too often they are being overworked and unable to offer patients the best care possible.

"The Francis report emphasised the importance of staffing levels in its investigation into the Mid Staffordshire scandal and there is strong evidence to support the fact that minimum nurse staffing levels improve patient outcomes. It is for this reason that the Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that minimum nursing levels should be enshrined in law.

"Nurses who have fewer patients to tend to are able to spend a greater amount of their time with each patient and, as a result, can provide better care. If they are more easily able to identify potential problems with a patient's care, then they are able to a play a preventative, rather than simply reactive, role. Not only would this lead to fewer patients needing treatment, but it would also consequently mean less of a cost to the NHS."

Under Standing Orders, the rules by which the National Assembly operates, a motion seeking the Assembly’s agreement to introduce a Bill on Minimum Nurse Staffing Levels must be brought forward within 25 working days.

Standing Orders also require the Presiding Officer to hold a ballot from time to time to determine the name of an Assembly Member, other than a Member of the Government, who may seek agreement to introduce a Member Bill.

More information on the proposal for a Minimum Nurse Staffing Levels Bill can be found here

More information on non-government Member Bill ballots can be found here

A list of submitted proposals can be found here