COLCHESTER’S hospital trust has welcomed new guidance which recommends there should be one nurse for every eight patients.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has published a first draft of the new guidelines following the damning inquiry into deaths at Stafford Hospital.

But a spokesman from Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust said they carried out an internal review in 2013, and employed 138 more qualified nurses between April and December following £3.2m investment in nursing as a result.

He said: “The outcome of our review was fully in line with the recently published NICE guidance which means that we are funded to ensure that the ratio of nurses to patients on a ward during the day reflects the dependency and nursing care needs of the patients and ranges from 1 nurse to 5 patients to 1 to 8.

“If a nurse calls in sick at short notice, we have a clear escalation process to senior members of the nursing team to manage staffing deficits, which is led by our Matrons.”