The best way to deal with a shortage of nurses is to have more nurses

Researcher Peter Griffiths says his team’s findings on staffing are clear – but not obvious to all
busy ward

Researcher Peter Griffiths says his team’s findings on staffing are clear – but not obvious to all

We all know the NHS is desperately short of nurses. The number of nursing vacancies is close to 40,000 – about one in eight posts.

In that context, the latest research on the consequences of low nurse staffing, published by my team and our partners, is either very timely or, some would argue, a rather unnecessary restatement of the obvious.

Fewer registered nurses means greater risk

Our study looked at the records of nearly 140,000 patients over three years in one large general hospital. We linked daily staffing records from an e-roster to the patients' outcomes.

‘For every additional hour of registered nursing care per patient over these five days the risk of death fell by 3%’

Focusing on what


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