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Safe staffing survey takes snapshot of working in NHS

Union says it expects sixth annual survey on nurse-to-patient ratios, overtime and breaks to reveal the strain staff and hospitals are under
Staff survey

Nurses have been recording nurse-to-patient ratios, overtime and breaks as part of an annual snapshot of working in the NHS.

Unisons sixth annual safe staffing survey asked staff to record details of shifts carried out on 7 February.

Details include the length of their shift, any overtime worked, the ratio of nurses to patients, amount of face-to-face time with patients and the number of bank and or agency staff on their shift.

Huge strain

Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: We are facing the worst ever year for demand in the NHS and this is the busiest time of the year for hospitals, placing them under huge strain.

We expect this years snapshot to show just how desperate

Nurses have been recording nurse-to-patient ratios, overtime and breaks as part of an annual snapshot of working in the NHS.


Nurses were asked to record the length of their shift, any overtime worked
and the ratio of nurses to patients. Picture: iStock

Unison’s sixth annual safe staffing survey asked staff to record details of shifts carried out on 7 February.

Details include the length of their shift, any overtime worked, the ratio of nurses to patients, amount of face-to-face time with patients and the number of bank and or agency staff on their shift.

‘Huge strain’

Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: ‘We are facing the worst ever year for demand in the NHS and this is the busiest time of the year for hospitals, placing them under huge strain.

‘We expect this year’s snapshot to show just how desperate the situation has become and how hard staff are working to keep things together.’

In last year’s survey, only 17.7% of respondents working on adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals in England said their employer followed safe staffing guidance for nursing.

It also found 89.2% of respondents supported nationally set, mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses must submit their data via an online form by 9am on 13 February for it to be included in this year’s survey results. Click here


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