Nursing shortfall could 'lead to more patient deaths'

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.

Read: New analysis shows shortage of nurses on NHS wards

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'Shortage' of nurses on wards

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.