Safe Staffing Alliance

Demanding safe staffing levels to ensure quality nursing care

A nursing alliance with a firm and simple message: numbers matter

Liz Robb

The Safe Staffing Alliance has a straightforward message when it comes to nurse staffing and that is: numbers matter.

There is enough evidence out there to show a direct link between numbers of registered nurses and the quality of care delivered to patients.

We have brought together some of that evidence on this website.

After studying the evidence it is clear that a staffing ratio of one registered nurse to eight patients (excluding the nurse in charge) is the level below which there is a significant risk of harm. So, for example, a 24-bed ward must have at least three registered nurses on duty plus a nurse in charge, and be supported by three or four healthcare assistants. This does not guarantee good care but anything less is known to increase the risk of poor care and constitutes a safety hazard.

There is already recommended staffing levels for children’s services, intensive care and maternity services. We want to take that a step further with a clear fundamental standard for elderly patients who are, after all, themajority of patients on our general wards. We owe them nothing less.

Please take a moment to sign up in support of our campaign.

You can download our Never More Than 8 leafleft here



Elizabeth Robb
Chief Executive, Florence Nightingale Foundation

Safe Staffing Alliance lobby for change

Members of the Commons health committee were among MPs and peers who signed up to the safe staffing campaign at a reception at the Houses of Parliament.

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Supporters: organisations


In addition to these organisations, the Safe Staffing Alliance also has the support of a number of individuals. Find out about them.



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About the Alliance

Alliance panel

The Alliance is made up of nurse leaders who came together as part of the Nursing Standard / Patients Association Care campaign.

Find out about our organisation and the arguments for safe staffing levels.

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About safe staffing

The Safe Staffing Alliance has brought together some of the vast body of evidence that staffing levels are linked to quality.

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Contact us

We would like to hear what's going on in your area so we have an up-to-date picture of the staffing situation nationally.

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