Providing safe healthcare is "more complex" than setting a single ratio dictating how many patients should be assigned to each nurse, said the organisation behind NHS guidelines.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE said:
Safe staffing is more complex than setting a single ratio. The emphasis should not just be on the available number of staff, it should be on delivering safe patient care and making sure that hospital management and nursing staff are absolutely clear on best practice to do this.
The reason why there is no single one-to-eight figure is because that will be seen as the figure that should be applied across all wards where we know that one to eight is not going to be enough in many scenarios.
A single figure is not appropriate if we want to deliver the right level of care for patients.
More top news
Relatives of Becky Watts have said her death was the "most undignified end to a beautiful life full of promise".
Some sunshine is breaking through the wintry weather as Spring arrives.
On this day in 1890 the Forth Rail Bridge was opened by the future King Edward VII and became one of the engineering marvels of the world.