Safe Staffing

Safe staffing guidance lacks research

The relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes is virtually evidence free, writes James Buchan

The relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes is virtually evidence free, writes James Buchan.

Abstract

When NHS England took over work on safe staffing guidance last month from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the nursing profession reacted with outrage.

NICE was originally given the brief to head off a growing clamour for nurse staffing ratios. But this was a near-impossible task. It was asked to apply its high standards of evidence grading to an issue that is virtually evidence free – the relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes.

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This article was published in Nursing Standard, 29 July 2015, volume 29, issue 48 under the original title 'Workforce'.

About the author

James BuchanJames Buchan
Professor in the school of health, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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