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Nursing ratio numbers 'advice not minimum'

The body that oversees NHS standards is setting out draft guidance for hospitals in England, which suggests patient safety is at risk if a nurse has to care for more than eight people during daytime hours. But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or NICE, has stopped short of recommending a minimum staffing level, saying hospitals need to have flexibility.

Speaking on the Today programme, Professor Gillian Leng, NICE's deputy chief executive of NICE, said: "NICE have not set a minimum number of nurses per patient, what we have issued is advice."

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, explained, "This is a very helpful step forward... In some of our hospitals, there are simply insufficient nursing staff numbers."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 10 May 2014.

  • 10 May 2014
  • From the section Health