Safe nurse staffing levels key to patient safety

Posted on: 27th March 2013

Health Select Committee Member Andrew George challenged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to introduce guideline registered nurse to patient ratios on acute hospital wards to protect patient safety. He was speaking in the Commons in response to a statement by the Health Secretary on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry.

Mr George said: “A routine Government response to a major incident like that at Mid Staffs is to offer warm words and a reassuring blanket of conceptual language and management babble.  Inadequate nurse to patient ratios are normally at the heart of this kind of failing. The Government needs to get on top of this. Instead it dismisses the introduction of guideline registered nurse to patient ratios.

“There is much talk of a culture in nursing that nurses are somehow “too posh to wash”, I think it is health chiefs who are “too posh to watch” and learn from the risks being taken in hospitals as a result of inadequate staffing levels, something that was clear at Mid Staffs.”


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