More evidence confirms safety in numbers on the wards

UNISON today reiterated its call for safe nurse patient ratios on hospital wards, as new research shows that death rates increase where there are not enough nurses.

The report, Safe and Sound for the Safe Staffing Alliance, is launched to coincide with International Nurses Day and is based on research by Southampton University. The report shows that hospitals with more than 8 patients per registered nurse would expect to see around 20 extra deaths a year more than hospitals that were better staffed.

UNISON Northern Ireland’s Staff Nurses Forum welcomed the statement from Gail Adams, UNISON Head of Nursing, who said:

“The evidences mounting that there is safety in numbers when it comes to caring for patients.”

“In survey after survey nurses say that the most satisfying aspect of their job is day to day, face to face, caring for patients.”

“What they want is to be given the time to do that safely and well.”

“For over two years UNISON has been calling for safe nurse to patient ratios to be introduced. They are successful in other parts of the world and we should learn from that example for the benefit of both patients and staff.”