Our response to new draft guidance on safe staffing levels in A&E

NICE has outlined new draft guidance to help A&E departments ensure there are enough nursing staff available to provide safe care at all times to patients.

The new guidance aims to ensure that A&E departments have the capacity to provide all necessary emergency care, as well as specialist input for children, older people or those with mental health needs.

Responding to the new draft guidance on safe staffing levels in A&E, our Chief Executive, Dr. Katherine Rake said:

“A&E departments are incredibly hectic places, with doctors and nurses all being put under particular pressure in recent weeks. As a result it can be very difficult for patients to understand when things are just busy or actually unsafe due to short staffing.    

“The new draft guidance will not only help to ensure A&E wards have the right number of nursing staff at all times, but if properly displayed this information can also be used to reassure patients that the hospital has enough staff to cope with demand.

“Crucially, this also gives patients the information and confidence they need to question the level of care they are receiving when departments are clearly understaffed.”