Safe staffing levels and general update

Hospital staff

03 / 4 / 2014 2.36pm

There have been a couple of announcements this week that I thought would be of interest to you, your colleagues and Board, so I thought a useful summary would be helpful, together with an update on some of our future activities.

Safe staffing levels

Earlier this week, Jane Cummings, CNO at NHS England and Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC, wrote to chief executives outlining what information will need to be reported and made available around staffing levels for providers with inpatient facilities.

It sets out that each organisation will need to produce:

  • Every six months: a Board report describing the staffing capacity and capability, following an establishment review, using evidence based tools where possible.
  • Information about the nurses, midwives and care staff deployed for each shift compared to what has been planned and this is to be displayed at ward level.
  • A Board report containing details of planned and actual staffing on a shift by- shift basis at ward level for the previous month. To be presented to the Board every month.
  • The monthly report must also be published on the trust’s website, and trusts will be expected to link or upload the report to the relevant hospital(s) webpage on NHS Choices.
  • They will be undertaking two stock-takes of progress and are asking for a member of your team to be available to respond.
For stock-take 1, papers will be issued on 23 April 2014 and need to be returned by 30 April 2014.  For stock-take 2, papers will be issued on 28 May 2014 and need to be returned by 6 June 2014. You can find out more information about safer staffing levels on our website.

Statutory Duty of Candour and Fit and Proper Persons Regulations

I also wanted to tell you about two new consultations that the Department of Health are running in April. Firstly, a new statutory duty of candour which will apply to all CQC registered providers. Full details can be found on the Government website.

Secondly, the fit and proper persons regulations were published this week which will create a new legal duty to ensure that all Directors or equivalent in CQC registered providers, meet this new fit and proper person test. The details of the test requirements are in Annex C of the document on this webpage.

Both consultations close on 25 April. We will be working to produce a joint submission with the NHS Confederation on both of these consultations, so please do get in touch with Caroline Waterfield in our employment services team (, or your local Head of Engagement with your views to ensure we can represent you effectively.

Pay FAQs

A reminder that we have updated our FAQs following the recent announcements on NHS pay, and we will continue to do so as further issues are raised. These can be found in the pay section of our website. If you have any further queries then please let me know.


Our work to support organisational development in the NHS is going from strength to strength. We are working with over 100 OD leads across the NHS on seven work streams, including topics such as patient-centred OD, diagnostics, behaviour change and talent management. It’s a really exciting and innovative programme and I would urge you to get involved. There is lots more information on our DoOD pages.

Our website

I also wanted to give you a heads-up that later this month, we will be launching our new website. This follows many months of listening to your views and feedback from your teams. Our new website will have much more interactive functionality such as a place to blog, and discussion forums. There will also be a much improved search facility and more importantly, by registering on our site you will be able to personalise your experience by book marking pages you regularly visit and automatically signposting you to pages that we think may be of interest. I’ll be writing to you again in a couple of weeks’ time to let you have more details.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2014

Finally, a reminder that our third Equality, Diversity and Human Rights week will take place from 12 to 16 May. The theme for this year will be around the power of networks and how social media can bring about change in areas of equality, diversity and human rights as well as how it can bring people together to share concerns and support one another. You can find out more from our website.

As ever, I would welcome any comments or feedback that you may have on any of these issues and you can contact me at

With best wishes,


Dean Royles

Chief Executive, NHS Employers

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