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Should the Berwick report have suggested a minimum staff:patient ratio?

  • Comments (5)

Earlier this week, the Berwick report was unveiled amidst much speculation that it would recommend minimum staffing levels. However, the report did not give a specific number and instead recommended providers should “ensure they have sufficient staff to meet the NHS’s needs now and in the future”. The review also added support to Robert Francis’ recommendation that NICE develop evidence to enable minimum staffing tools to be devised.

In an interview with Nursing Times, one of the experts from Professor Berwick’s review team, Elaine Inglesby-Burke, acknowledged there was disappointment over this decision but explained that the report looked at patient safety across the health service and minimum staffing level appropriate to one area may be dangerous in another.

 

What do you think?

  • Should the report have suggested a legal minimum staff to patient ratio?
  • What problems could such a ratio incur?
  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    the problem is that it will cost a lot of money, it's not a problem for the staff.
    yes there should be a legal minimum of staff nurses to patients, obviously not 1-8 in ITU etc. but that's just common sense.
    why are you asking these questions when we say time and time again that all work areas are unsafe with the current staffing levels?

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  • Anonymous

    it should be no more than 6 patients to 1 staff nurse and at least 3 health cares on every ward every shift then the care would be given to patients and the paper work would be done not 1 staff nurse to 10 and sometimes more patients and 1 health care to cover the ward

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  • Anonymous

    There should always be a majority of trained staff on shift. Anything less is nursing on the cheap and a risk to safety. Unfortunately most trained staff are unwilling to escalate concerns and just want a quiet life.

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  • Anonymous

    I don't know why there continues to be so much debate about this with deteriorating care and no action when it is perfectly clear that one person cannot do the same amount of work as two, at least when both are performing to full capacity. It all seems to boil down to the fact that employers only wish to pay for one instead of two to do the amount of work expected of two!

    As far as A&E goes, just throwing more cash at it, which will be quickly absorbed and then need more and more, will not solve any of the fundamental issues either there or in the entire system.

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  • The wards are already staffed with the minimum possible then one person goes off sick and the shift isn't covered all the work still has to be done but if it isn't audited then no one cares . So we just scrape by until an audit picks it up and ten something else goes on te back burner

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