UNISON launches sixth annual survey into NHS safe staffing

NHS staff across the country are being asked to record nurse-to-patient ratios on their wards for UNISON’s sixth annual survey into safe staffing levels.

The survey findings will provide a snapshot of conditions in hospitals for staff and patients over 24 hours on Tuesday 7 February.

The NHS is currently facing unprecedented pressures and the data will be released in time for UNISON’s annual healthcare conference in April.

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “Hospitals are under intolerable strain, and increasingly staff are unable to provide the ideal level of care for patients.

“We have been campaigning to improve staffing levels for years. But previous surveys have revealed that many NHS workplaces still have too few nurses.”

In last year’s survey, almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents felt the numbers of staff on the wards were not adequate enough to ensure safe, dignified and compassionate care.

Nurses must submit their data via the online survey by 9am on Monday 13 (February) for it to be included in the results.

Notes to editors:
– To read the results of last year’s survey please click here
– Nurses need to keep track of the following during their shift on Tuesday 7 February:
* The length of their shift
* If they worked any overtime (and if so, how much)
* How many total patients during their shift
* The total number of nurses during their shift
* If they were able to take some, all or none of their breaks
* The percentage of their shift spent working face-to-face with patients
* The number of bank and/or agency staff on their shift
* If their workplace has a set staffing ratio for nursing staff and what that is

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk
Alan Weaver T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk