Nurse to staff ratios are needed

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow supports the proposal by the Safe Staffing Alliance to standardise nurse to patient ratios in the NHS.

Nurse to staff ratios are needed

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow supports the proposal by the Safe Staffing Alliance to standardise nurse to patient ratios in the NHS.

Care of patients deteriorates when staff levels are stretched. This is evident within the nursing and medical professions. While it is clear that the nurse to patient ratios and the skill mix of nurses will vary from ward to ward and from department to department, standards should be set in the different clinical area such as ICU, acute admissions wards, step progressive care wards, specialty wards and long stay wards.

The nursing budget represents the largest financial component of operational spend in health boards and health authorities. As a result, when funding is reduced this is always looked on a potential source of saving.

The drawing up of unequivocal standards of nursing numbers in the different types of wards using benchmarking and the considerable expertise that is available is worthy of consideration. Having these numbers independently monitored would close the door to inappropriate budgetary savings in this area and thereby eliminate the risk to patient safety and care.

Back to all news


Back to all articles


We provide a daily update on the day’s top health news by WhatsApp. To subscribe, please add our number (+447458012663) to your contacts as “College Voice” and then send "NEWS" as a WhatsApp message to +447458012663 for a daily update for the news that matters to you.

Who we are

We are a worldwide community of inspiring health professionals working together to advance our profession and improve patient care.

Read more

What we do

Over the past year we’ve made great advances in professionalising our approach to engaging more effectively with government and the wider health sector.

Read more

What we stand for

Together we are demanding action to address workforce shortages and implement solutions to help reduce staff burnout.

Read more