Nursing staff are being asked to record the nurse-to-patient ratio on their ward as part of a major national survey by Unison.
The union wants to capture a snapshot of nurse-to-patient ratios across the country on 6 March by asking nurses working on that day to record and submit data about their shift.
Unison has created a worksheet (see attached, right) for nurses to print off and record information on staffing levels during shifts taking place between midnight on 5 March and midnight on 6 March. This data should then be entered into an online survey.
The union said the survey had been sparked by an increasing number of nurses raising concerns that nurse-to-patient ratios were having a negative impact on patient safety, combined with the “media frenzy” surrounding the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry, which is due to report later this year.
With the exception of a small community survey in Scotland a number of years ago, the union said no one had attempted a similar piece of research before.
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams called on nurses to be part of a “historic campaign” by taking part in the survey.
She said: “We think it’s a good time to check what nurse-to-patient ratios really are.
“This has never been done before,” she added. “No one has ever conducted a one-day check-in across the service to find out how units are being staffed.”
Nurses must submit their data via the online survey by Friday 16 March. The results will be announced at the Unison health conference at the end of April.
How to take part:
- Print off a copy of the worksheet attached (see right) to find out what information is needed and use it to record details of your shift on 6 March
- After the shift has ended, go to the survey web page and enter the data from the worksheet. This must be done by 16 March