Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06767: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 1 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-05966 by Shona Robison on 31 January 2017, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding how many times in each of the last five years people have been treated in hospital wards that have not met a safe nurse-to-patient ratio.

Answered by: Shona Robison 24 February 2017

The Scottish Government does not use fixed nurse to patient ratios to determine safe and effective staffing levels. Instead NHS Scotland uses the Nursing and Midwifery Workload and Workload Planning Tools to inform decisions about safe and effective staffing levels in 98% of service areas.

As was previously explained in the answer to S5W-05966, these tools use a validated triangulated and responsive approach based upon patient needs, local context and professional judgement to make evidence based decisions on Nursing and Midwifery staffing. Fixed staffing ratios are often based on a fixed point in time and are not consistently reflective of workload, case mix and the acuity attributed to that case mix. This approach, and the suite of planning tools, are endorsed by RCN Scotland.