Policy briefing

Safe and sustainable staffing

Essential facts

In September the RCN published a survey of 30,000 UK nurses, of whom 55% said shifts did not have the planned level of nursing staff, while 53% warned that staff shortages were compromising care.

Last month NHS Improvement (NHSI) produced a resource covering England called Safe, Sustainable and Productive Staffing in Urgent and Emergency Care .

In the draft resource, which is out for consultation until 22 December, NHSI does not recommend specific overall nurse-to-patient ratios. Instead it sets out recommendations for developing models of care, and planning and monitoring tools, as well as action to take if staffing resources are not meeting patient need.

What's new?

The NHSI resource states that the interdependence of the roles in the multi-professional team has a


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