All hospitals are required to publish information about the number of nurses, midwifery staff and support workers per shift, together with the percentage of shifts meeting safe staffing guidelines.
This initiative is part of the NHS response to the Francis report which called for greater openness and transparency in the health service. Information about staffing levels will be published monthly. Full details will also be reported to public meetings of our Board of Directors and available within our published Board papers.
Why are we publishing this data
We are required to publish information about the number of nursing and midwifery staff working on each inpatient ward, with robust data (by month, by ward area) and then on an on-going monthly basis. The intention is to demonstrate how Trusts across the NHS ensure the safety of their staffing levels and skill mix.
This information is contributing to improved care for patients by ensuring that effective staffing levels are presented, challenged, owned by Trust Boards and openly shared with the public.
The national strategy for nursing and midwifery (DH and NHSCB, 2012) has clear expectations for Chief Nurses and Directors of Nursing set out around presentation and discussion of nursing metrics.
The National Quality Board (NQB, 2013) identified ten key expectations in their guidance on staffing levels entitled "How to ensure the right people, with the right skill, are in the right place at the right time: a guide to nursing, midwifery and car staffing capacity and capability".
This was followed by further guidance from the Care Quality Commission (CQC, 2014) for organisations to deliver the commitments the Government made in ‘Hard truths: the journey to putting patients first’ to make staffing information more publically available. .
The guide sets out 10 expectations on NHS providers and commissioners as follows:
Expectation 1: Boards take full responsibility for the quality of care provided to patients, and as a key determinant of quality, take full and collective responsibility for nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability.
Expectation 2: Processes are in place to enable staffing establishments to be met on a shift-to-shift basis.
Expectation 3: Evidence-based tools are used to inform nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability.
Expectation 4: Clinical and managerial leaders foster a culture of professionalism and responsiveness, where staff feel able to raise concerns
Expectation 5: A multi-professional approach is taken when setting nursing, midwifery and care staffing establishments.
Expectation 6: Nurses, midwives and care staff have sufficient time to fulfil responsibilities that are additional to their direct caring duties.
Expectation 7: Boards receive monthly updates on workforce information, and staffing capacity and capability is discussed at a public Board meeting at least every six months on the basis of a full nursing and midwifery establishment review.
Expectation 8: NHS providers clearly display information about the nurses, midwives and care staff present on each ward, clinical setting, department or service on each shift.
Expectation 9: Providers of NHS services take an active role in securing staff in line with their workforce requirements.
Concerns over nurse staffing arrangements have come out of a number of high profile national inquiries and reviews which have been played out in the professional and national media over recent years, including the Francis Inquiry (2010) and more recently the Francis Report (2013) which was published following the public enquiry into the care provided at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. As a result of these reports, Trusts are now expected to take more robust action.
Will information be displayed in the hospital?
We will also be displaying information on boards for patients and visitors in all of our wards that shows the planned and actual staffing available at the start of every shift.
Safer Staffing Documents
View our Safer Staffing documents below.
Read more about our Trust Board papers and performance reports here