Last week, we hosted a twitter discussion on NICE’s ground-breaking new guidelines on safe staffing levels in the NHS. The draft recommendation states that if nurses are looking after more than eight patients on adult, hospital wards, the risk of harm to patients is increased.
On individual wards, the draft guideline highlights the importance of the nursing team’s awareness of patient needs and “red flag events”, which signal that an immediate response is needed, such as an urgent need for additional nurses.
What do you think of this announcement?
- Should NICE have gone further and formally recommended a minimum staffing level?
- Are there enough nurses working in the UK to fulfil a one nurse to eight patients ratio?
- Could trusts use this guidance as an excuse to not bring in additional nurses when needed if they are already below 1:8?