Patient care is unsafe on wards with each registered nurse regularly looking after more than eight patients, according to nursing leaders. Safe and Sound, the Safe Staffing Alliance, says the figure is based on hard evidence.
Speaking on behalf of Safe and Sound, the Safe Staffing Alliance, Professor Elizabeth Robb, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, said nursing leaders were united in standing up for patient safety.
For the first time ever, nursings leadership is united on this. We are coming together to stand up for patient safety and for the profession.
We are saying that, with a ratio of one registered nurse to more than eight patients, there is a significantly increased risk of harm. We hope that by coming up with a figure we will give directors of nursing the evidence they need to argue for the staffing levels necessary to provide good care.
If government are saying that staffing levels are a local decision, then it is more important than ever to set out clear guidance.
– Professor Elizabeth Robb, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation
Patient care is unsafe on wards where each registered nurse is regularly looking after more than eight patients, according to nursing leaders.
Safe and Sound, the Safe Staffing Alliance, made up of senior expert nurses, says the 1:8 figure is based on hard evidence and they have issued new recommendations that under no circumstances should staffing be allowed to fall below that level.
A study by researchers at Southampton University, Kings College London and the National Nursing Research Unit found that hospitals with eight patients per registered nurse (during the day time on general acute wards) would see around 20 extra deaths a year more than better staffed hospitals.