Nurse Staffing Levels

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2015 Health Care Service Group Conference
5 December 2014
Carried as Amended

Conference believes that the level of staffing of registered nurses in wards remains poor across the four countries that make up the UK.

In Scotland, NHS Boards have to use the National Workforce and Workload Planning Tools. This can put too much emphasis on ‘professional judgement’ and can still lead to reduced staffing levels on a day to day basis.

Conference recognises that it is a Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement for registered nurses to raise concerns about patient safety and this should include unsafe registered nurse staffing levels.

Conference believes that the most effective and safest staffing level is the ratio that is in place in both California and in New South Wales, Australia, namely one registered nurse to every four patients.

Conference calls upon the Health Service Group Executive to:

1) work with the Nursing Occupational Group and Regional Health Committees to continue to campaign for safe staffing levels aligned to the New South Wales and Californian evidence based models;

2) bring a report to Health conference 2016 on the progress of this campaign.