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How much time do you spend on patient care?

  • Comments (2)

This week we published research into how much time nurses spend directly caring for patients. Unsurprisingly, the research supported the view that much care is provided by healthcare assistants, but it also challenged the assumption that nurses do not spend enough time with their patients.


“This article presents the findings from observations of nursing care that were conducted in an acute NHS trust, as part of a much larger mixed-methods study that explored the impact of the Productive Ward programme on the delivery of nursing care. It was found that nurses did not always take opportunities to interact with patients in a meaningful way, for example by involving them in ward round discussions; however, qualified nurses were involved directly in the delivery of fundamental nursing care, supported by healthcare assistants.”

Article: How much time do nurses spend on patient care?

Authors: Stella Wright is research officer at the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Clinical Research Centre, North Wales Research Network, Conwy; Wilfred McSherry is professor in dignity of care for older people at Staffordshire University/The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, and part-time professor at Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Bergen, Norway.

Let’s discuss…

  • Are you able to spend as much time as you would like performing direct patient care?
  • What barriers are there to spending time with patients?
  • Should healthcare assistants be providing the majority of direct patient care?
  • Comments (2)

Readers' comments (2)

  • Anonymous

    Having done an activity follow at work for a twenty four hour period a qualified Band 5 will spend 27% of their time directly with the patients. It doesn't feel like much but after you take out medication rounds, handover, break times, writing notes, continual assessments, MDTs, staff meetings etc. I think we've done okay.

    Having carried this out, I think as nurses it's important to recognise that we do not physically have the time to spend with the patients which should not be the case. However that as shown above 27% isn't something to be ashamed of, it's something to be proud of. But also use it as a stepping stone to making changes.

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  • Anonymous

    I agree ,drug rounds in the mornings take a long time in my area due to elderly people with swallowing difficulties.
    Then the never ending ward rounds. It looks like I ain't doing a lot but with care plans skin assessments this takes up time.

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