The Welsh Levels of Care
The Welsh Levels of Care set out descriptions of patients across five archetypal levels of care, from routine and simple to critical and
unpredictable. These descriptions are broken down into typical patient needs, conditions and situations and
the corresponding clinical assessments, interventions and tasks undertaken by nurses.
The purpose of the Welsh Levels of Care are to provide nursing teams with the advice, guidance and definitions required
to consistently assign individual patients to a level of care. The level of care is the principle data of the national
acuity audits that take place every six months, in January and June. This data is collated and analysed to
provide comparative information on the range of nurse staffing levels deployed on every participating ward
Together with information on workload, and the current
deployment of staff, this data is provided in feedback to
operational staff on a tool known as the visualiser.
The data on the acuity audits is then considered alongside
comparative data related to the quality of care. Also
considered is a professional narrative on the operational
pressures that have influenced the care of patients and
deployment of nursing staff during the audit period.
This evaluation, referred to as triangulation, is mandated in the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act (2016) Statutory Guidance 2021 and is the method
by which Nurse Staffing Levels are to be calculated (see image below).