Good management, not legislation, is the key to safe staffing

UK-wide safe staffing laws are only a small part of the solution

UK-wide safe staffing laws are only a small part of the solution

The RCN has called for legislation on safe staffing throughout the UK, following similar initiatives in Wales and Scotland. But while there is an appetite within the profession for legislation, is it really the means by which safe staffing levels can be achieved, patients protected and nurses supported? I am not convinced it is.

There is widespread recognition that appropriate nurse staffing is critical to safe patient care, but little discussion of the fact that it sits alongside the need for the right staffing in other disciplines too.

An art as well as a science

The boards of healthcare organisations have governance responsibilities for regulated services to ensure they are safe and effective. This means that with or without legislation, each board is accountable for staffing of


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