RCN responds to BMJ study linking lack of fully trained nurses with increased risk of death

Press Release 05/12/2018

RCN responds to BMJ Quality and Safety Study

Responding to a new BMJ Quality and Safety study that linked a three per cent rise in patient death risk per day when there is a lack of fully trained nurses on hospital wards, Dame Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nursing Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary, said:

“As the official count of vacant nurse jobs rises this year, this study shows the death count will too - it’s as stark as that. The Government and the NHS in England must pull together to resolve the staffing crisis - patients are paying the highest price for the shortage of nurses.

“This research is the latest in a long line of studies showing that patient safety is at risk from the failure to plan for a long-term workforce. Asking nursing students to take on thousands of pounds worth of debt to fund their courses has led to a dramatic fall in the number of students applying for university nursing degrees - so the RCN is calling for at least £1 billion to be invested into nursing higher education.

“This investment needs to go hand in hand with a law that enshrines safe staffing, and ensures we have the right number of nurses, with the right knowledge, in the right place. We need accountability at all levels for nurse staffing to keep the public safe."


Press Office Contacts

Katherine Jarman, Head of Media
020 7647 3484 / 077186 96838

Daniel Sutherland, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3695

Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Out of hours duty press officer
020 7647 3633