Professor Rafferty emphasised that where the nurse to patient ratio is low, the nurses on these wards are 71 to 92 per cent more likely to ‘burn out’ and become dissatisfied with their jobs. These nurses were more likely to report a low or deteriorating quality of care on their wards.
Prof Rafferty said: ‘We calculate that some 246 fewer deaths would have occurred in these 30 trusts had all the patients been treated in hospitals with the most favourable staffing levels. The number of lives that could potentially be saved through investments in nursing throughout NHS hospitals could be thousands every year.’
This new research supports similar research undertaken in the US.