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Safe Staffing
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Safe staffing

From June 2014  it became a national requirement for all hospitals to publish information about staffing levels on wards, including the percentage of shifts meeting their agreed staffing levels. This initiative is part of the NHS response to the Francis report which called for greater openness and transparency in the health service. The results are available through the NHS Choices website, as well as on our website.

What is safe staffing?

Safe staffing relies on good management so that posts are filled and deployed effectively and the staff employed are available to work. The Trust has a duty to ensure nursing and midwifery staffing levels are sufficient to maintain safety and provide quality care. There is a growing body of research evidence which shows that nurse staffing levels make a difference to patient outcomes (mortality and adverse events), patient experience, quality of care and the efficiency of care delivery.

Why are we doing this?

The intention of this is to show how trusts across the NHS ensure the safety of their staffing levels and skill mix. The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, Jane Cummings with the National Quality Board (NQB) and the Trust Development Authority (TDA), produced guidance in December 2013 for Trusts which sought to support organisations in making the right decisions to create supportive environments where their staff are able to provide compassionate care. The report identifies the themes, expectations, process, actions and leads. The key priorities are monthly workforce reporting to the Trust Board supported with clinical indicators, six monthly establishment reviews, displaying planned versus actual staffing numbers in clinical areas and the publication of monthly workforce data on the trust’s public facing website.

Monitoring / escalation

We have a system in place for monitoring staffing on a daily basis. There is also a process for escalating any concerns and ensuring actions are taken. The acuity/dependency of patients (how sick or dependent they are) is also monitored closely as this ultimately affects that type and amount of care they need.


Setting establishments is complex and having the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place is about more than the numbers and type of staff (registered and unregistered) but is also about leadership, culture, support and education.

Each month, we will publish information about our staffing levels and provide links to papers discussed in public at our Trust Board meetings.

Supporting information

  • NHS Choices - information available on the NHS Choices website

Have you got any questions about staffing levels?

The information provided on this page relates to staffing numbers at ward/department level detail and is updated every month. For any queries please contact the Corporate Nursing Office on 01322 428999.

Our reports