Nurse-to-patient ratios give staff the certainty they crave

Critics say ratios are a blunt instrument, but they are better than no instrument at all, and do allow room for local flexibility in NHS workforce planning

Critics say ratios are a blunt instrument, but they are better than no instrument at all, and do allow room for local flexibility in NHS workforce planning

Even when the NHS nurses’ pay dispute comes to an end, another critical issue will remain to be fixed.

The absence of a reliable approach to determining minimum safe staffing levels in England is a major and understandable driver of nurse discontent.

The need to sort out nurse understaffing pre-dates COVID-19, but is now more urgent than ever. The NHS and social care sectors are buckling under increasing demand, with spiralling staff shortages.

Fundamental flaw in leaving safe staffing to local decision makers

The emphasis on local decision


Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?