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Staffing levels and skill mix, in particular in acute hospitals, was highlighted as a key area of concern for patient safety by the Mid Staffs Inquiry (aka Francis Report). This page brings together resources to support commissioners in these areas.
- Submit your suggestions for inclusion here.
- Key policy drivers
- Publications & tools
- Specific service areas
- Database search terms
Key policy drivers:
- How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time – A guide to establishing nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability, National Quality Board for the Chief Nursing Officer for England, 19 November 2013 This report includes a useful bibliography. Read the NHS England commentary
- Staffing levels is one of the Patient Safety indicators published on the NHS Choices website. Patient Safety section.
- Hard Truths: The Journey to Putting Patients First – Part of the Government Response to the Mid Staffs Inquiry setting out a range of recommendations including publication of transparent, monthly reporting of ward-by-ward staffing levels.
- Compassion in Practice is the NHS England joint strategy to transform nursing care of which Action Area 5 is concerned with skill levels and skill mix.
- See all of the resources on NHS Improvement for staffer staffing levels here.
- See the presentation by Ruth May at the “Nursing Staffing Levels and Skill Mix: Ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place” conference on 8 June 2015.
- Nursing Workforce Planning Tool (Skills for Health) This tool aims to assist nursing workforce planning and help make better decisions about cost effective numbers and mixes of nurses.
- Investing in people: Developing people for health and healthcare Workforce Plan for England: Proposed Education and Training Commissions for 2014/15. Health Education England, December 2013. Full details of our commissions for all programmes of education can be found in Annex 1.
- The Royal College of Nursing has written a number of publications and recommendations around nursing staffing levels and skill mix – search for the RCN publications here.
- NICE Staffing guidance – currently (Oct 2014) only available for nursing staff in acute adult inpatient wards, but others are in development including mental health community and inpatient services, A&E, midwifery units.
- HSCIC workforce statistics
- NHS workforce statistics: England– a House of Commons Library Standard note summarising recent trends
Specific service areas:
- Acute services
Papers from NHS Improvement
- Safe staffing for adult inpatients in acute care, Dec 2016
- Evidence from NHS Improvement on clinical staff shortages A workforce analysis, Feb 2016
- Children and young people
Defining staffing levels for children’s and young people’s services, RCN August 2013 and accompanying document A background report on nurse staffing in children’s and young people’s health care, RCN June 2013
- Elderly care services:
FTN Benchmarking Briefing: Driving improvement in elderly care services, Foundation Trust Network 2012 This benchmarking report compares how care pathways for older patients are delivered and managed across 16 acute trusts. The workforce and Costs section (page 8) notes the significant variation in both the number and mix of staff on dedicated elderly care wards.
The impact of workforce flexibility on the costs and outcomes of older people’s services: A policy and literature review. Nancarrow, S et al Report for the National Coordinating Centre for the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation (NCCSDO), July 2008. This large study of community and intermediate care services for older people investigated the impact of different staffing configurations on outcomes for patients, service use and costs and staff satisfaction.
- Emergency Care
NHS Improvement – Safer, faster, better – transforming urgent and emergency
College of Emergency Medicine – Safe staffing
- Intermediate Care
The relationship between staff skill mix, costs and outcomes in intermediate care services.Dixon et al. BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:221
- Learning Disability
NHS Improvement – Safe staffing in learning disability services
- Maternity services
Reconfiguration of women’s services in the UK (RCOG 2 January 2014) – An outline of the standards that should be applied when women’s services are reconfigured. It focuses on workforce planning including obstetric staffing, size of unit, geographical access to units, education and training. Searching the literature: Search NHS Evidence for recommended for staffing levels Search the databases: