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RCN: ward nurses must have time to care

Published: 30 July 2013

Poor care needs to be prevented by making sure wards are well staffed. It must not be used as an early warning sign, the Royal College of Nursing has said.

The comments come in response to new research published online in the BMJ Quality & Safety Journal that reports most ward nurses say time pressures force them to “ration” care.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “These are depressing findings and unfortunately not surprising. When nurses are overloaded with tasks, and have extremely limited time to complete them, something has to give. Without enough staff on the ground it’s vital care such as having the time to talk with, and reassure, patients that suffers.”

The RCN says cutting nursing posts to save money is a false economy; it leads to poor care which creates more strain on the system, particularly in accident and emergency departments.

“We urge all employers to make use of this research,” added Dr Carter.

Further information

Go to the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal website.