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Safe Staffing Policy

Nursing, midwifery and care staff, working as part of wider multidisciplinary teams, play a critical role in securing high quality care and excellent outcomes for patients. There are established and evidenced links between patient outcomes and whether organisations have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. The National Nursing Strategy ‘Compassion in Practice’ emphasised the importance of getting this right, and the publication of the report of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and reviews by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh into 14 Trusts with elevated mortality rates, Don Berwick’s review into patient safety, also highlighted the risks to patients of not taking this issue seriously.

South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) is committed to ensuring that service users receive the highest quality care whilst in receipt of services. To ensure that this is achievable there must be sufficient numbers of staff who have the right levels of skills and training who can be deployed responsively to meet service user needs.

We take the care of our service users very seriously and already have a number of mechanisms in place to ensure that our wards are safely staffed, including displaying boards for patients and visitors in all of our wards that shows the planned and actual staffing available at the start of every shift.

Following a requirement from the NHS Chief Nursing Officer England and the Care Quality Commission, from June 2014 all hospitals are required to publish information about the number of nursing and midwifery staff working on each ward, 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.

Each month, the Trust publishes information about our staffing levels and provides links to papers discussed in public at our Trust Board meetings. As from September 2015 the Board publishes safe staffing data as a combined workforce assurance.

Link to the full Policy:

Safe Staffing Policy

Link to the Policy & SOPs Equalities Impact Analysis:

Safe Staffing Policy & SOPs - EIA

Link to the Standard Operating Procedures:

Safe Staffing Establishment Reviews SOP

SafeCare Live SOP