Nurses “ration” care due to time pressures
The BBC reported today a study which suggests that nurses are having to “ration” care because of time pressures. The study published in BMJ Quality & Safety which involved 3,000 nurses found that the fewer nurses there are, the higher the risk care will be compromised.
The nurses were asked about “missed care” – care which was deemed necessary, but which they were unable to do or complete because of insufficient time. 86% of the respondents said that at least one of 13 care activities on their last shift had not been performed because of lack of time. The area which suffered most was talking and comforting patients.
Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This study confirms that the majority of general medical/surgical wards do not have staffing levels which are sufficient to meet patients’ needs. As a result, patient care and outcomes suffer.It is important that the results of this study are acted upon and steps taken to ensure there are sufficient levels of nursing staff in all hospitals. This will become increasingly important in light of the rising levels of elderly and vulnerable patients who require specialised and increased levels of care”.
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