From April 2014 onwards, hospitals in England will be required to publish monthly details about their standards of care on a new national safety website. An important element of the information supplied will indicate whether each hospital has enough nurses on the wards to meet recommended safe-staffing levels.
Triggle, N. (2013). Hospitals in England told to publish staffing levels. London: BBC Health News, November 19th 2013.
Guidelines Planned from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is conducting a comprehensive review of the evidence on staffing levels (mostly about nursing and midwifery staffing), and plans to produce definitive guidance on safe staffing levels in different NHS settings:
- Accident and emergency units.
- Maternity units.
- Acute in-patient paediatric and neonatal wards.
- Mental health in-patient settings.
- Learning disability in-patient units.
- Mental health community units.
- Learning disabilities in the community.
- Community nursing care teams.
NICE to produce guidance on safe NHS staffing levels. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), November 19th 2013.
Royal College of Nursing Reports
There is a recent RCN report relating to safe staffing levels:
Running the red light. Frontline First: November 2013 special report. London: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), November 2013.
The RCN last year released guidance and recommendations for compassionate and safe nursing care for older people in hospital.
Safe staffing for older people: RCN full report and recommendations. London: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), September 2012.
Triggle, N. (2013). Are there enough nurses in the NHS? London: BBC Health News, November 19th 2013.
A recent commentary on NHS Networks:
Patterson J. (2013). A transparent liberty. London [Online]: NHSNetworks, November 22nd 2013.
Policy Analysis Centre on NHS Safe Staffing
The following document highlights risks to patient care which may arise when hospital ward staffing falls below roster. Electronic rostering systems permit hospitals to track the deployment of staff.
Hockley, T. [and] Boyle, S. (2014). NHS safe staffing: not just a number. Lymington: Policy Analysis Centre, January 2014.
Health Select Committee: Broader Staffing Levels Standards
The Health Select Committee wants safe staffing levels to be extended beyond nurses in England, to include midwives and doctors; especially in A&E units.
Triggle, N. (2014). Safe staff levels ‘should apply to NHS and care sector’. London: BBC Health News, January 22nd 2014.