Fewer than two registered nurses present on a ward during any shift, day or night, represents a patient safety “red-flag”, according to major guidelines for the NHS.
In addition, nurse managers must check staffing levels are safe on hospital wards where each registered nurse is caring for more than eight patients during day shifts.
The guidelines state that nurses in charge of shifts should monitor for the occurrence of “nursing red-flag events” during each 24-hour period. Where one occurs, it should “prompt an immediate escalation response”, such as allocating additional nursing staff to the ward.
- Is an “immediate escalation response” realistic for every red-flag event?
- How often do “red-flag” incidents occur in your place of work?
- Will the guidelines be effective in improving patient safety?