Several high-profile inquiries and reports, including the Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, by Sir Robert Francis QC, have identified that nurse staffing is an essential factor in patient safety and patient mortality rates. Since the Francis report, several policies and initiatives aimed at ensuring safe staffing in the NHS have been developed alongside guidance and evidence-based safe staffing tools, while the Care Quality Commission has been tasked with ensuring compliance with these policies. In 2015, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme commissioned research to examine the extent to which safe staffing policies have translated into practice locally in the NHS. This article summarises and examines the main findings of this research and suggests that, although policies have raised the profile of nurse staffing, nursing shortages have impeded their implementation.
Nursing Management. 27, 3, 35-40. doi: 10.7748/nm.2020.e1904Correspondence
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