Hospital wards 'understaffed'

More than half of nurses think their ward or unit is dangerously understaffed, a Nursing Times survey revealed today. Nearly six out of 10 (57%) described their ward as sometimes or always "dangerously understaffed", the research showed.

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Ratio of patients to nurses 'could compromise care'

The majority of respondents to the Nursing Times survey also said the ratio of patients to each nurse at their hospitals could compromise patient care.

More than eight out of 10 respondents said staffing on general medical wards in an acute hospital was at a ratio of eight patients to one nurse, or more.

And of these nearly half (44%) said the ratio was 10 or more patients per nurse.

A ratio of eight or more patients per registered nurse is associated with patient care on a ward regularly being compromised by short staffing, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

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