Understaffing is rife across public hospitals. Workloads are growing yet there is less support.
There are simply not enough nurses or midwives being rostered on each shift, resulting in workplace fatigue and dangerous workplace conditions.
Emergency and surgical wait times continue to balloon out. Kitchen staff without sufficient training are being made to look after patients. Incidences of violence in hospitals continue to reach unacceptable levels.
There aren’t enough nurses to patients and it’s risking lives.
We need better ratios to safeguard the future of our public health system.
What are safe nurse-to-patient ratios?
A nurse-to-patient ratio is the number of nurses working on a ward or unit in relation to the number of patients they care for.
Good nurse-to-patient ratios ensure a safe level of care and decrease the risk of poor patient outcomes, and unnecessary deaths.. Without the right ratios, patients across NSW are missing out on thousands of hours of much needed nursing care.
Ratios save lives – and money
International studies from the past 20 years have shown a direct correlation between nurse staffing levels and improved patient outcomes.
Research conducted on ratios implemented in Queensland [link] shows 185 lives have been saved since the policy came into effect. A further 255 readmissions were prevented.
Further, the state saved $70 million as a result of the improvements in patient outcomes.
What’s happening in other states?
Victoria, Queensland and the ACT have all made nurse-to-patient ratios law. NSW should be leading, not lagging behind.
Read the Research
- Effects of nurse-to-patient ratio legislation on nurse staffing and patient mortality, readmissions, and length of stay: a prospective study in a panel of hospitals
- Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Mortality, Nurse Burnout, and Job Dissatisfaction
- Nurse staffing impacts on patient and nurse outcomes
- Analysis of Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes Using Comprehensive Nurse Staffing Characteristics in Acute Care Nursing Units