University researchers report on low child ward staffing levels
The report, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by PICANet showed that death rates in children’s intensive care units are low and continue to fall.
However, the national audit also found that only 5 children’s intensive care units across Britain and Ireland were staffed with the number of qualified nurses recommended by the Paediatric Intensive Care Society. Only 15% of institutions met the recommended ratio of nursing staff to children’s intensive care beds, despite overall staffing levels remaining the same.
Professor Elizabeth Draper of our Department of Health Sciences is co-principal investigator of PICANet (the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network) with investigators at the University of Leeds. They have highlighted the decline in the number of children’s intensive care units meeting the level of nurse staffing specified by their professional body, but point out that this is set against a low overall mortality rate and evidence that all institutions endeavour to provide the best quality facilities and information for parent and carers.