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NHS given guidelines on minimum nursing numbers

Patients who receive poor standards of nursing care while in hospital should be able to prompt an investigation into whether or not there are enough staff on their ward, new NHS guidance suggests.

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Nursing guidelines 'major step forward for NHS safety'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has praised the latest guidelines from NICE, which provides recommendations for the minimum amount of nurses that should be working on a hospital ward.

This is a major step forward for NHS safety. As a result of this new guidance the NHS will be able to give safer care and patients can have confidence that the right number of nursing staff are on duty.

It will also help hospitals to balance their books - for every fall avoided because a nurse was on hand to help, Nice estimates another £1,400 is saved.

Recent years have seen a big jump in nursing numbers in hospital wards, with 6,200 more nurses since 2010. Today's guidance will help the NHS use staff as effectively as possible.

– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

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