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NHS Improvement has released a draft improvement guide for Safe Staffing.

‘Safe staffing improvement resources: adult inpatients in acute care’ is “based on the National Quality Board’s expectations  that to ensure safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care, trusts will employ the right staff with the right skills in the right place and at the right time….

The resource:
•    outlines a systematic approach for identifying the organisational, managerial and ward factors that support safe staffing
•    makes recommendations for monitoring and taking action if not enough staff are available on the ward to meet patients’ needs
•    builds on NICE guidelinesopens in a new window on safe staffing for nursing in adult inpatient care in acute wards”

Taken from 

Dragt Improvement Guide here.


  • In determining nurse staffing requirements for adult inpatient settings: 
  • A systematic approach should be adopted using an evidence-informed decision support tool triangulated with professional judgement and comparison with relevant peers. 
  • A strategic staffing review must be undertaken annually or sooner if changes to services are planned. Staffing decisions should be taken in the context of the wider registered multiprofessional team. Consideration of safer staffing requirements and workforce productivity should form an integral part of the operational planning process 
  • Action plans to address local recruitment and retention priorities should be in place and subject to regular review. 
  • Flexible employment options and efficient deployment of staff should be maximised across the hospital to limit temporary staff. 
  • A local dashboard should be in place to assure stakeholders regarding safe and sustainable staffing. The dashboard should include quality indicators to support decision-making. 
  • Organisations should ensure they have an appropriate escalation process in case staffing is not delivering the outcomes identified. 
  • All organisations should include a process to determine additional uplift requirements based on the needs of patients and staff. 
  • All organisations should investigate staffing related incidents, their outcomes on staff and patients and ensure action and feedback 

Related event:

Safe Staffing Summit: A Practical Guide to Safe and Effective Nursing Staffing Levels and Skill Mix - with an opening address by Prof Mark Radford Director of Nursing NHS Improvement
Wednesday 22 February 
The Studio Conference Centre, Birmingham

Also of interest:

Implementing the New National Framework for Nursing Midwifery and Care staff
Friday 20 January 
De Vere W1 Conference Centre, London

Ward Manager Summit: Developing your skills as an Effective Ward Manager
Monday 6 February 
De Vere W1 Conference Centre, London

21 December 2016


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