New report from the Royal College of Nursing calls for urgent review of Nurse staffing levels to ensure patient safety this winter.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has today published a report, Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing Against the Odds which shows the results of a recent staff survey. The survey, carried out in May 2017 reveals more than half (55%) say shifts did not have the level of nurses planned, and that shortages were compromising patient care (53% ).
Nursing staff in all four UK countries were asked about staffing levels on their most recent shift and the quality of care provided. More than a third (36%) report having to leave elements of patient care undone due to a lack of time, while two thirds (65%) work an unpaid extra hour on average.
Seven in 10 nurses (71%) in England said their last daytime shift exceeded NICE guidelines, which states that more than eight patients to one nurse should act as a ‘red flag’. A quarter (26%) reported shifts with 14 or more patients per nurse.
The respondents also reported that:
- patients are no longer afforded enough dignity, even dying alone;
- colleagues have burned out and have become sick themselves, unable to come to work;
- staff leave work “sobbing” at the impact of shortages on patient care;
- many question their future in nursing and contemplate leaving the profession;
- they struggle to give their children and families enough support after shifts that can exceed 12 hours.
Royal College of Nursing: Urgent action needed to tackle staffing crisis
- Nuffield Trust: Comment on the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Safe and Effective Staffing’ report
- BBC News: NHS staff shortages ‘mean patients dying alone’ in hospitals