Safer Staffing

Safer staffing

We constantly strive to provide high quality care to the people who use our services. All of our staff work to provide care and compassion to people when they need it – whether it is at the beginning, or end of their life; in times of illness or uncertainty; or as part of helping people with long term conditions to stay as healthy and live as independently as possible.

Following a requirement from the NHS Chief Nursing Officer England and the Care Quality Commission, from June 2014, we will be publishing details of staffing levels on all our inpatient wards on this page.

The trust set a baseline for what are known as safe staffing levels for a fully occupied ward with no patients requiring intensive one to one nursing care.

CNO guide for safer staffing [pdf] 8MB
CQC timetable for actions [pdf] 81KB
Safer staffing action plan[xls] 38KB

Why our staffing levels may sometimes look ‘low’

Compared to the baseline average, there will be times that our staffing figures will be lower. We operate a policy of only having staff on shift proportional to the number of patients on a ward and their individual care needs. This fluctuates and during parts of the year when there are fewer seasonal complaints like those which occur during the winter months (falls, influenza, respiratory problems) there may be a reduced demand for beds, so at times we may require fewer members of staff to care for the patients on the ward.

We can safely operate our wards with less staff as the situation is constantly assessed and extra staff called in when demand for care increases.

Why our staffing levels may sometimes look ‘high’

There are also times when we have a higher number of patients requiring more complicated care or requiring individual care on a one-to-one basis. When this occurs, we bring in more staff to deal with the extra work involved and to meet the needs of the patients.