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Ray Walker speaks on staffing and skillmix: getting it right in practice

Ray WalkerRay Walker

The presentation explored the approach of a Mental Health Trust in determining the in patient staffing levels and providing assurance that they are being adhered to. Furthernore, it discussed the challenges that are faced in determining appropriate staffing levels in mental health, learning disabilities and substance misuse settings when the evidence is poor.

“Mersey Care NHS Trust involved finance very early on with the study of nurse staffing levels and engaged the board at every stage”

Ray then went on to explore how the national requirement to publish ‘hourly’ staffing levels moved from being an administrative burden with little perceived clinical benefit to becoming a platform for significant organisational focus on staffing that has increased the organisational engagement and understanding of ‘nurse staffing’.

The presentation was concluded by focusing not only the process by which 42 wards, it also discussed how the resilience of nurses can at times have unintended consequences for patients and the organisation. Ray advised all our indications to date indicate that nurses are facing greater acuity and that more nurses are required.  However, there is a need to understand the sustainability of increased staffing of wards and the potential unintended consequences for community services.

“If staff feel good, patients feel good”

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Download: Ray Walker's Presentation

22 September 2014

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