Safe staffing

Every month, we publish information about our staffing levels, including the percentage of shifts which met their agreed staffing levels during that month.

We publish this information as part of the NHS’s response to the Francis Report, which called for greater openness about quality of care.

What the report shows

In the report, you can see the safe staffing figures for each of our wards during both the day and night. You can also see figures for nursing and midwifery staff separately to those for healthcare assistants.

We do measure the number of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), such as therapists, in our safe staffing reports. The report doesn’t include figures for our doctors.

The columns in the report show:

  • the number of nursing, midwifery and healthcare assistant (HCA) staff hours that we expected to have on duty
  • the number of hours that our nursing, midwifery and HCA staff members actually worked
  • the percentage fill rate for the month, or the average number of hours that staff actually worked as a percentage of what we expected to have on duty

Wards with more staff than expected

You might notice that the figures for some of our wards sometimes show that they have more staff on duty than we had expected. Sometimes we care for patients who need more support than usual from our nurses and healthcare assistants. In these cases, we book additional staff to help ensure that our patients receive safe, high quality care.

How we monitor our safe staffing figures

The nursing teams on our wards monitor their staffing levels every day. They use this information to update their daily Quality Board, which you will find at the entrance to each of our wards.

Every month, our Chief Nurse receives a report which contains these figures for all our wards..

This information is sent to our Trust board.

Responding to our safe staffing figures

Sometimes, we find that we do not have as many staff on duty as we expected. When this happens, our matrons and heads of nursing take a number of actions to ensure that the quality of our care isn’t affected.

These include:

  • requesting temporary staff cover
  • moving staff across wards, if we can do so without affecting the quality of care elsewhere
  • requesting support for frontline staff from other clinical staff, such as ward managers, matrons, and heads of nursing

We discuss these occasions, and the actions that we have taken in response, in our monthly report on safe staffing to the Trust Board.

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