George calls for safe nurse staffing levels to reduce avoidable deaths
West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has responded to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposal to have an annual review of avoidable deaths. Rather than ‘rank’ and criticise, Mr George urges the Health Secretary to respond to the single most significant issue which contributes to ‘avoidable’ deaths on hospital wards – unsafe staffing levels.
Mr George, Commons Health Select Committee member and leading campaigner for safe staffing commented, “If the Health Secretary wants to do something about ‘avoidable’ hospital deaths he doesn’t need to just rank, study or criticise. He can respond positively to the campaign and the clear evidence that unsafe staffing is a major risk. Evidence shows that when an acute ward has fewer than one registered nurse to seven patients there is an increased risk of ‘excess’ or ‘avoidable’ deaths.
“Indeed, unsafe staffing is a false economy. Cutting costs by having too few registered nurses on the ward results in worse outcomes, longer hospital stays and more and more complex and expensive treatment, quite apart from the impact on patient care.”