Does the UKs nurse shortage compromise sharps safety standards

Tuesday January 24 2017

It is arguably currently more important than ever for the NHS to invest in sharps safety devices, as new figures show the extent to which nurses are overworked, meaning best practice care standards may be being compromised.

According to new analysis published in the Health Service Journal that covers 2014 to the present day, 96 percent of UK hospitals regularly fail to meet nursing staff targets during daytime shifts, meaning the nurses are under extra pressure and may not be able to deliver the best possible standard of care to all of the patients in their charge.

In addition, statistics show that 85 percent of hospitals have struggled to meet staffing targets for night shifts over the past few years, which suggests patients' health could be at risk at all times of day and night.

In one case, it was revealed one nurse was left looking after 24 patients alone during a shift. Due to the medical needs required by 24 patients, it might not have been possible for the nurse to provide timely and reasonable care to every patient.

In fact, Ruth May, executive director at health service watchdog NHS Improvement, stated: "We all know the NHS is dealing with intense pressure at the moment. It's the toughest I have ever seen it."