Safe staffing guidance


9 / 12 / 2010

Guidance has been developed by the NQB with the Chief Nursing Officer for England to help providers and commissioners implement one of the key recommendations in the Francis report, which has now been accepted by Government.

From April 2014, all hospitals will be required to publish staffing levels on a ward-by-ward basis together with the percentage of shifts meeting safe staffing guidelines. This will be mandatory and will be done on a monthly basis. By the end of next year this will be done using models approved independently by NICE.

'How to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time' , is a guide to nursing, midwifery and care staff capacity and capability.

The guidance is based on the principle that no single ratio or formula will calculate the answers to these questions. Getting it right will, it concludes, require the use of evidence-based tools, professional judgement about what is right for your organisation (it will differ from trust to trust), and joint multidisciplinary working. The guidance aims to help you to make some decisions about what safe staffing means to you by identifying some of the tools, resources and good practice used by some organisations.

The National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing the evidence set out by the NQB, with a view to accrediting some of the resources to help you further with this work.

We know employers are working hard to prepare for the changes, in a spirit of openness and transparency. We will keep you informed as more guidance becomes available.

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