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Using evidence to make decisions: does this apply to the government?
  1. Alison Twycross
  1. Department of Children's Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Alison Twycross, Department of Children's Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London SE1 0AA, UK; a.twycross{at}lsbu.ac.uk

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In my May contribution to the EBN Blog (http://bit.ly/1bzuQ7V) I sent a message to Jeremy Hunt, the English Secretary for Health, about nurse staffing levels. Despite compelling evidence supporting the conjecture that patient safety is inextricably linked to registered nurse-to-patient ratios, the Government continue to pronounce that decisions need to be taken at a local level and refuse to set minimum staffing levels. A study published in 2011 suggests missed nursing care may explain, at least in part, the relationship between staffing levels and patient outcomes in the USA.1 Similar findings are emerging in the UK with 86% of nurses in one study reporting that one or more care activity had been missed on their last shift due to a lack of time.2 This is …

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