Safe nurse staffing essential – Government told
Health Select Committee Member Andrew George, the MP who is leading the campaign in Parliament for safe Registered Nurse staffing levels, today challenged Government Ministers to improve the nurse to patient ratio on hospital wards.
Speaking during Health Questions, Mr George asked:
“The Government should be monitoring the situation, but he will be aware of the concern, which I have consistently highlighted, about inadequate registered nurse ratios in acute hospital wards, and of the Health Committee’s report into the Francis inquiry, which made recommendations in that regard. In inspecting hospitals, what objective measure should the Care Quality Commission use when looking at safe staffing levels on acute hospital wards?
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter replied:
“The CQC is working with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and NHS England to devise tools to do exactly that. As my hon. Friend will be aware, the number of front-line staff required, whether nurses or doctors, to look after a patient who is in a cardiac intensive care unit will differ from the number required in a rehabilitation setting. The tools that the chief inspector of hospitals will be able to apply are being developed.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr George commented: “The nursing profession is clearly raising fundamental concerns about safe registered staff nursing levels. But Government Ministers are still in denial.”