- 6 updates
Cutting nursing posts to save money is a false economy, leading to poor care and creating more strain on the system, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said today, after a report found that nurses were having to "ration care" due to time pressures.
Dr Peter Carter said:
A new report suggesting that nurses are having to "ration care" towards their patients due to time pressures has been welcomed by the head of nursing at the union Unison.
Gail Adams said: "This report adds to the growing evidence that there is safety in numbers when it comes to caring for patients.
"Earlier this year Unison's own survey of nurses and healthcare assistants found that nearly 60% did not have enough time to deliver safe, dignified and compassionate patient care.
"The introduction of minimum staff to patient ratios would be a life-saving initiative - one that would dramatically change life on the wards for patients and staff, providing a safer, more caring environment for all."
There is a strong relationship between registered nurses staffing levels and the prevalence of care being left undone, authors from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery and the University of Southampton said today after a new report suggested nurses wee having to "ration care".
The authors added:
More than 80% of nurses are being forced to "ration care" because they don't have enough time to properly look after patients, a new study suggests.
The authors from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery and the University of Southampton, found:
- 86% of nurses were unable to perform at least one of 13 care elements because they were too busy
- 66% of nurses unable to comfort or talk to patients
- Just over half of nurses saying they were forced to skip "educating patients"
- 47% said they didn't have time to develop or update nursing care plans
- The average nurse cared for 7.8 patients on a day shift
- The average nurse cared for 10.9 patients on a night shift
- Nurses looking after 11 or more patients were twice as likely to say they rationed patient monitoring as those looking after six or fewer patients
- 78% of nurses in the best staffed environments reported some care was missed on their last shift, compared with 90% of those with lower staffing levels
Hospital nurses are being forced to "ration care" because they don't have enough time to properly look after patients, a new study suggests.
Fundamental aspects of care are "frequently being left undone", researchers found.
Almost nine in ten nurses questioned said they were so busy on their last shift that they were unable to perform at least one "care activity" such as proper patient surveillance, administering medication properly, comforting patients or changing a patients' position in bed - to prevent bed sores.
The study, published in the online journal BMJ Quality & Safety, examined data from almost 3,000 nurses who work in 46 English hospitals.