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Mandatory nurse staffing levels

22 March 2012

The attached briefing produced by the RCN Policy and International Department sets out the case for moving to a system of mandated staffing levels. The RCN believes that the development of safe mandatory nurse to patient ratios is crucial to the future of the NHS, and that improved patient outcomes will not be delivered without them.

The evidence base in respect of nurse staffing levels, patient outcomes and the health of the nursing workforce is compelling and overwhelming. For many years the RCN has highlighted these critical relationships and developed policy, advice and guidance to support safe nurse staffing levels and patient safety.

In order to safeguard patient care, the RCN believes that now is the time to set more clearly defined standards and that mandatory nurse staffing levels must be adopted by providers, regulators and commissioners of health services. The RCN is committed to working with governments, health departments and key stakeholders to bring forward further staffing level recommendations. Our patients and the public have a right to a guarantee of safe nurse staffing levels.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email policy.international@rcn.org.uk

Page last updated - 14/08/2015