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Union calls on nurses to help with staffing snap-shot


Nurses are being called on to take part in a national union survey to provide a “picture of the situation with staffing levels across the UK”.

Unison will be running its second annual Safe Staffing Levels Survey today, 5 March, and is asking all nurses to participate, regardless of whether they are members of the union or not.

Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing, said: “The purpose of the survey is to find out what staffing levels are like in workplaces across the country on a regular day.

“Staff are asked to keep track of the nurse-to-patient ratio (the number of patients per nurse, in other words) in their workplace on 5 March and then answer questions in an online survey. All answers are kept anonymous and non-attributable, so everyone is encouraged to answer honestly and fully.”

She added: “Tell your colleagues. Tell your friends who work in healthcare. Tell your branch. Get as many people involved as possible.”

The union has asked that nurses keep track of the following factors during their shift on 5 March:

  • How many hours your shift lasted
  • Whether you worked any overtime (and how long it was)
  • How many total patients there were during your shift
  • How many total nurses there were during your shift
  • Whether you took some, all or none of your breaks
  • The percentage of your shift you spent working face to face with patients (exclude travel, paperwork, etc)
  • How many bank and/or agency staff members worked on your shift
  • Find out if your workplace has a set staffing ratio for nursing staff and if so, what it is

Staff are asked to record nurse-to-patient ratios in an online survey between 5 and 11 March.


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