Skip navigation

Monitoring staffing levels in practice in mental health

Vanessa Ford, National Professional Advisor CQC, & Director of Nursing Standards and Governance & Nursing Development/Education Team at West London Mental Health NHS Trust spoke at today’s Safe Nurse Staffing in Mental Health conference, giving an update on inspection in mental health and monitoring nurse staffing and skill mix levels in mental health.

In her presentation Vanessa discussed what inspection teams are looking for when assessing nurse staffing levels on mental health wards, which include:

  • Total number of nurses on each shift is sufficient to provide safe care
  • Enough qualified nurses on each shift
  • Effective procedures for bringing in extra staff
  • All nurses know the service users and are familiar with ward procedure
  • Nurses have the right skills to make the ward safe

Vanessa commented; "It is not the CQCs job to tell trusts how many staff to have....Safe staffing needs staff communication – this is fundamental for patient safety."

Vanessa’s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page. 

Vanessa Ford was appointed Director of Nursing Standards and Governance at WLMHT in March 2015.  Vanessa was previously Interim Director of Nursing and Quality Assurance at Devon Partnership NHS Trust. She has also worked there as Deputy Director of Nursing and Practice, providing leadership and engagement with staff of all levels.  

Vanessa was appointed as one of two national professional advisors for mental health nursing to the Care Quality Commission.  Vanessa will be working with CQC colleagues to establish clear guidance about important areas of nursing practice, such as care planning, as well as advice on governance and leadership.

Future events of interest: 

Mental health practitioners & those working in psychiatry & psychology.

Improve/enhance professional practice & personal performance.

Download: Vanessa Ford full presentation

16 November 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences