The Number of Registered Nurses on a Ward is Linked to Safety

Increased staff numbers boost the safety of the patients as well as protecting healthcare workers from harm. Those who work in private nursing or homecare will understand this more than anyone. It has also come to light that more healthcare workers happen to improve retention too. This is according to UK research. They have found an association between the number of nurses who are registered on a shift and the presence of adverse events. This can include harassment or even violence. Of course, some people are saying that this isn’t a case of there being bodies on the ground, rather it being to do with the attributes that registered nurses have.

The findings come from Birmingham City University and they are also being presented at the Patient and Safety Learning Conference. They are due to be published in the Health Informatics Journal later on this month.

Officials have studied over three years of data and they have also taken into account the NHS mental trust too. The researchers there have found staff safety and even patient safety correlate with one another. The study also found that clinically required staff reported an adverse impact on their mental health when they do not have enough support in the room.

Of course, the risk of adverse events was highest when the clinical demand for staff was low. For example, this is especially the case when you look at night staff. The authors of the study have stated that their findings do not point to a limitation of judgement from a clinical point of view, but it does indicate that the staffing level required to deliver care may be less than what it means to keep staff safe. This could be disastrous for the future of the NHS.

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