New research from King's College London claims almost half of all UK hospital wards are regularly understaffed.
Nursing leaders says it put patients at risk, especially the elderly.
The Conservative MP said that the Stafford hospital scandal must be an “electric shock” that galvanises the NHS to become more open.
We asked subscribers on the ITV News Facebook page their thoughts on nursing shortages in NHS hospitals and what experiences of patient care they have had.
– Maxine Creedon Barrett
I've just been in and had a major operation and the nurses were run ragged doing everything from changing beds to looking after me but I still got 100% care. I was lucky I was on a ward with only four beds.
– Hayley Brown
I was at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich last week and on the chemotherapy ward where they only had two staff, and were run ragged. The nursing staff work extremely hard and very long hours!
– Tracy Carr Washenry
There are times when you only have one staff nurse to look after a whole ward in hospital, with maybe only two other health care assistants!!!
The Chairman of the Committee calling for all hospitals to publish nursing ward staffing levels on a daily basis has said that the Stafford hospital scandal must be an “electric shock” that galvanises the NHS to become more open.
Stephen Dorrell, who chairs the Health Select Committee, said the NHS need to increase awareness of patient care and staffing levels in hospitals.
It has been reported by The Times that the Chief Nursing Officer is preparing to issue guidance to hospitals after figures found that 413 wards routinely operated with low numbers of nurses.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCNhas said it is "extremely concerned" over new analysis which shows that hundreds of NHS hospitals do not have enough nurses to care for patients properly.
Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, told The Times:
What Jane Ball’s research has found is unacceptable and we should be extremely concerned about it.
In most place where there’s poor care it’s not because nurses are willfully negligent or unfeeling, it’s because there aren’t the numbers.
3,000 nurses from 46 hospitals were asked about conditions on their last shift as part of the three-year survey project by the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London.
The shortage of nursing staff on NHS wards could lead to a higher risk of more patients dying in hospital, according to the nursing research unit which carried out the analysis.
Jane Ball, deputy director of the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London, who led the research, said:
I would have hoped that less than 10 per cent of wards would be at these danger levels.
We should all be gravely concerned about this. It’s not simply that nurses aren’t able to talk to patients and comfort people, it’s about levels of surveillance. Having fewer skilled people to keep an eye on patients can ultimately lead to a higher risk of them dying in hospital.
Hundreds of hospitals do not have enough nurses to care for patients properly, according to analysis of staffing levels by The Times.
Research found that 43 per cent of NHS wards have only one nurse for every eight patients, a figure flagged up in the "red zone" of a recent government safety report.
Experts have also warned that elderly care statistics showing on average more than 9.1 patients per nurse, could compromise care.
Today, MPs called for the number of nurses on duty in every English hospital ward should be collected daily and published to help prevent a repeat of the Stafford hospital scandal.