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Our Big Conversation – Nursing in Wales

Our Big Conversation – Nursing in Wales presents a unique opportunity to co-create the future of the nursing workforce in Wales.

HEIW are in the process of developing a strategic nursing workforce plan, which will address the current and anticipated challenges within our nursing workforce. We have committed to do this in an open and collaborative way by co-creating the workforce plan with nurses and the wider workforce.

We are inviting nurses to share their own lived experiences and ideas for how they would like things to be in the future via an anonymous online conversation - this is a different way of engaging, it is not another survey, and will result in real change.

Developing a workforce plan is so important, because as is widely recognised, there are a number of shortages across all fields of nursing and without a sustainable nursing workforce, the NHS will simply be unable to provide services to the people of Wales.

How to take part:

To take part, simply visit and register with your email address, then when the conversation is live you will be sent unique log in details to join in. Registration will remain open throughout the duration of the conversation, so you can register and join in at any time while the conversation is live.

Why we are embarking on this work:

The policy position in Wales, shaped by A Healthier Wales; Our Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care (2020), is to have: ‘a motivated, engaged and valued health and social care workforce with the capacity, competence and confidence to meet the needs of the people in Wales.’ Moreover, the nursing workforce is the largest workforce in health and social care in Wales. So, it is imperative that they feel engaged, motivated, and valued.

Nurses play a key role within the health and care system and more broadly within communities, however, the pandemic has left a lot of the nursing workforce feeling burned out, undervalued and overwhelmed.

The development of a new nursing workforce plan provides the opportunity to instil renewed optimism.

How we will engage:

For a workforce plan to deliver positive change, it must resonate with those it is designed to help. The method we are using will enable the nursing workforce to feel listened to and empowered to influence and co-create their future.

To help us tap into the collective wisdom of our nursing workforce we are working with an independent partner, Clever Together, to support us in this nationwide engagement. Their methodology will enable us to open a conversation with the entire nursing workforce in Wales which will be hosted on a purposefully designed website where everyone can share, read, rate and comment upon the ideas, experiences, and stories of others. The platform provides a psychologically safe environment for our nurses to share what they really think, because it is anonymous, facilitated, and independently analysed.

Through Our Big Conversation – Nursing in Wales, the nursing workforce are invited to share their ideas for the future, comment on the ideas of others and indicate what they agree or disagree with. Every voice counts because nurses across Wales know the answers to the challenges they face. By working together to understand and solve our issues collaboratively we can improve patient and community care and the well-being, job satisfaction and lives of nurses.

Clever Together will analyse everything that is shared within the online conversation and provide an in-depth report that honours the experiences and opinions of our nurses in Wales that will set out a clear direction for our leaders based on this collective voice.

The insights generated from the engagement will be used by HEIW to develop the strategic nursing workforce plan for the future, created with the voice of the people it effects most, at its heart.

What will happen when:

There will be two psychologically safe online conversations for every nurse within Wales to join, the first conversation in May-June will focus on sharing the current challenges facing the nursing workforce and ideas for solutions: how the nursing workforce would like the future to look. The second conversation will take place in August and will be an opportunity to read the insights from the first conversation and check what we heard was correct, and point out what is strong, wrong, or missing.

After which, the workforce plan will be finalised with assurance that we are ready to hear everything that needs to be done to honour the voice of nurses across Wales; that we will listen with compassion and acknowledge the variety of experiences of our colleagues; that we will make sure that a diversity of voices are heard and that the priority areas are listened to and acted upon.

The nursing workforce-plan will be completed and shared in early 2024.