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Nursing academic recognised for key workforce research

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A nurse researcher who played a leading role in a seminal study that influenced the debate on safe staffing levels in the NHS has been recognised with an award.

Professor Peter Griffiths, chair of Health Services Research at the University of Southampton, has been made a senior investigator by the National Institute for Health Research.

“Delivering health care is an essentially human activity, which remains labour intensive”

Peter Griffiths

Around 200 people currently hold the title. The honour is decided by a competition every year and recognises the research expertise of an individual in their particular field.

Professor Griffiths is the only academic to receive the award this year for the discipline of nursing and becomes one of only five from the field of nursing to have ever received the award.

He has published a number of internationally recognised studies looking at nurse staffing ratios and staff performance, including the seminal Registered Nurse Forecasting (RN4CAST) study.

The RN4CAST study helped establish the view that eight patients to one nurse on a general ward should be the minimum safe standard, which was subsequently reflected in national guidelines.

Professor Griffiths said: “I am very honoured to have been given this award by the NIHR.

“Despite huge technological advances, delivering health care is an essentially human activity, which remains labour intensive,” he said.

“Ensuring we have the right workforce and organisation to deliver high quality and safe care with humanity, now and in the future, is the ultimate aim of my research,” he added.

Professor Griffiths is also the nursing workforce lead for NIHR CLAHRC Wessex.

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