Assessing the nursing needs of individual patients is paramount when making decisions about safe nursing staff requirements for adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals. Consequently this guideline makes a series of recommendations that focus on safe nursing for adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals. Assessment of patients' nursing needs should take into account individual preferences and the need for holistic care and patient contact time.
Patients should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals and others responsible for assessing safe staffing requirements for nursing on adult wards in acute hospitals should also refer to NICE's guidance on the components of good patient experience in adult NHS services.
It is also important to note that patients have rights and responsibilities as set out in the NHS Constitution for England: all NICE guidance is written to reflect these. The Compassion in Practice strategy also sets a shared purpose for nurses, midwives and care staff to deliver high-quality, compassionate care, and to achieve excellent health and wellbeing outcomes (Department of Health and NHS Commissioning Board 2012).