News and Comment

The rationing of care: Valuing public services is not, and should never be, an exercise in accountancy

Wednesday 7 August 2013


A recent paper published in the BMJ Quality & Safety reported on compelling evidence to show that lower nurse staffing levels in hospitals are associated with worse patient outcomes. The researchers hypothesised that this may be due to the omission of necessary nursing care – or ‘missed care’ as they put it – caused by time pressure. 86% of nurses in the study reported that one or more care activity had been left incomplete due to lack of time on their last shift.

There are a number of observations this research invites, which have important implications about how we think about care quality and efficiency in a time of public spending cuts.

Read the full article on the LSE website