North Devon Healthcare Trust has launched a £1.8 million recruitment drive at one of its hospitals to boost staffing levels.

The recruitment drive aims to help North Devon District Hospital meets “the highest standards” of patient care and safety by increasing its standard daytime ratio from one registered nurse for every eight patients to one for every six. Its standard nightime ratio aims will be increased from 1:16 to 1:10, under the plans.

Kevin Marsh, director of nursing, said: “Research and evidence shows there is a clear link between the ratio of qualified nurses on wards and the outcomes of patients.

“Staffing levels will remain high on our agenda – day in, day out – and will be developed in response to the needs of our patients.

“While we consistently benchmark well against other trusts in terms of staffing, we were keen to act now to increase the skill mix and help us live up to our aim of providing safe, high-quality care every time.”

The plan will be implemented in the coming months. Two wards have already been brought up to the new nurse to patient ratios.