Recommendation ID
What is the relationship between the following factors and outcomes related to nursing care, patient safety and patients' and nursing staff satisfaction with the quality of care in the UK?
- Number of nursing staff
- Nursing skill mix
- Shift patterns
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Insufficient evidence is available about the effects that nursing staff numbers, skill mix and shift patterns have on nursing care, and patient safety and satisfaction-related outcomes. Research is needed to compare outcomes from acute adult inpatient wards that use different staff numbers, skill mix, and shift patterns. Data should be collected on both positive and negative outcomes (such as number of complaints of missed care or satisfaction with quality of nursing care provided), and resource use and costs. Confounding factors (such as patient characteristics) should be controlled. This research would be best done using a cluster randomised controlled trial design. The evidence from this research would help to establish whether there is an optimum number of nursing staff for different wards, and whether there are types of shift patterns and skill mix that are associated with the best outcomes for patients.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Safe staffing for nursing in adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals
Date issued
July 2014

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? N/A  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   N/A  
Last Reviewed 07/10/2014