The organisation which sets NHS standards has said that nurses in hospitals should not have to look after more than eight patients each at any one time.
Following concerns about standards of patient care in the aftermath of the Mid Staffs scandal, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is to warn that any higher workload place on registered nurses' would put patients' safety could be put at risk.
The regulator's move will ramp up pressure on hospitals, to hire more staff to tackle shortages even though many have little spare money, according to a report in the Guardian.
More top news
Over the next 24 hours we are going to see snow and ice across many parts, although it is looking calmer from Sunday onwards.
A young grey seal found in a farmer's field on Monday is making progress say RSPCA staff. He's thought to have a head injury.
The UK economy, boosted by the inclusion of the sex and drugs industry in the calculations, is now the world's fifth largest, but only just.