Nursing Profession United over Safe Staffing Message

The Safe Staffing Alliance, a group of nurse leaders brought together by Nursing Standard, has issued the following statement in advance of the government's response to the Francis Inquiry into care failings.


'It is vital the nursing profession continues to raise awareness of the link between registered nurse staffing numbers and quality of care.

The whole profession, including the Prime Minister's nursing advisory group, are united in the view that available evidence should be used to ensure that staffing levels are safe.

That evidence is compelling and shows that under no circumstances is it safe to care for patients in need of hospital treatment with a ratio of more than eight patients per registered nurse, excluding the nurse in change.

The 1:8 ratio should not be breached as we know that more patients per registered nurse significantly increases the risk of harm as, evidenced by recent government reports.

We believe the 'never more than eight' message a fundamental standard that should be used by inspectors, regulators, people visiting relatives and by patients themselves.

We are not asking the government to mandate nursing numbers, rather than they should hold trust boards to account to ensure this fundamental standard is never breached.

We look forward to the results of the work being commissioned on safe staffing by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.)'

Safe Staffing Alliance chair Elizabeth Robb



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