Nine in 10 hospitals miss nursing targets

The figures show 92 per cent of the 225 acute hospital trusts in England did not manage to run wards with their planned number of nurses during the day in August.

A spokesman for the Department of Health (DoH) contended that staffing was a priority and maintained that 50,000 nurses were currently in training.

Furthermore, analysis conducted by the Health Service Journal shows average staffing levels across the 225 acute hospital sites in August was worse compared to January, where 85 per cent of hospitals missed their staffing targets for nurses working during the day.

The data also shows that 81 per cent of hospitals failed to have enough registered nurses working at night, with 79 per cent of hospitals missing their target for registered nurse staffing across both day and night.

Janet Davies, Royal College of Nursing chief executive, said hospitals were trying to catch up on their staffing levels.
She said: "We went through a period of time where we were trying to save money. We cut posts, we didn't train enough nurses and we're still feeling the effect of that.

"We've a long way to go. We've got to catch up on this for some time. But equally, we have to keep the nurses we've already got. It's great to train people, it's great to bring people in, but our experienced nurses are leaving.

"They're leaving because they're overtired - it's a bit of a vicious circle."

A DoH spokesman said: "Staffing is a priority - we've put more than 7,600 additional nurses on our wards since May 2010 and there are 50,000 nurses currently in training.

"We know that there are big challenges for hospitals, so we are helping the NHS to employ the staff it needs at a fair price by clamping down on rip-off staffing agencies and identifying billions of pounds of back-office savings so that as much money as possible goes to the front line."

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