Hospitals should display nurse numbers, say Tories

Public health spokeswoman Nanette Milne feels patients would be reassured to know numbers. Picture: JP

Public health spokeswoman Nanette Milne feels patients would be reassured to know numbers. Picture: JP

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REAL TIME information on the number of nurses on duty should be displayed on hospital notice boards alongside a complaint hotline to allow patients to report staff shortages, according to the Conservatives.

A minimum standard of one nurse for every eight patients is being rolled out in England following an investigation into poor care, high mortality and staff shortages at Stafford Hospital, Conservative public health spokeswoman Nanette Milne said.

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Real time staff displays in Scotland could reassure patients that adequate staff are on duty, she added.

“The ratio of nurses to patients on our hospital wards is vital to ensure high standards of care,” she said.

“One way of maintaining this would be to display ‘real time’ information on the number of nurses on duty at any given time.

“This would provide reassurances to those being treated by the NHS that staffing levels are adequate.

“This was a major issue at Stafford Hospital and we must do everything possible to prevent a similar scandal in Scotland.

“It is important that we build a culture of openness within our NHS and providing the public with the most up-to-date information would help achieve this and alert patients to any staff shortages.

“At this time of year our NHS is under immense pressure and I warmly pay tribute to all staff for their commitment and dedication for working under extremely pressured conditions, and who in the majority of cases deliver a very good service to patients.

“I have written to the health secretary to urge all NHS boards across Scotland to display the number of nurses on duty in wards in hospitals to be displayed along with a central contact for complaints.”

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