Hospital ward staffing levels 'should be displayed daily'

A report into Stafford hospital found inadequate staffing was a factor in the poor care

The number of nurses on duty in every hospital ward should be collected daily and made publicly available to help prevent a repeat of the Mid Staffs scandal, MPs will recommend tomorrow.

The Health Select Committee said the information should be automatically collated so it could be analysed, but also suggested hospitals should look at posting the figures on wards so patients and families were aware of staff levels.

In his report into the Stafford scandal, Robert Francis QC found inadequate staffing was a significant factor in the poor care at the hospital and recommended that Trust boards should have a means of knowing whether each ward was adequately staffed.

But the committee said the Government’s approach to monitoring staffing levels was not good enough. “It cannot be done through periodic inspection or twice-yearly reporting of data,” they concluded. “Commissioners should require all their providers to collect information on staffing at ward level on a daily basis and make it available.”

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