Developing an early warning system for hospital staffing levels – The Health Foundation – December 2013

Posted on December 19, 2013. Filed under: Patient Safety, Workforce | Tags: |

Developing an early warning system for hospital staffing levels – The Health Foundation – December 2013

“The transparent reporting of ward-by-ward staffing levels has been highlighted as a key action in the government’s response to the Francis Inquiry. Here we look at a tool being developed by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which will alert multidisciplinary teams to staffing level risks on patient safety.”

… continues on the site

Minimum nurse staffing levels are only part of the picture – The Health Foundation – December 2013

“Perhaps one of the mostly hotly debated issues before and since the publication of the Francis Inquiry report has been the question of whether there should be nationally set minimum nurse staffing levels.

While the case for the connection between inadequate staffing levels and avoidable harm has been largely made (for instance by the Health Committee, Dr Foster and the Keogh Review), I find interesting that there has been opposition to setting a minimum level from a number of different perspectives.

The policy community have largely argued that, by specifying a minimum, there is a risk that it becomes a ‘ceiling’ rather than a ‘floor’, with the possible unintended consequences of nurse numbers being cut in some places on the assumption that this would be safe.

From a more evidence-based perspective, people have argued that the complexity of care in today’s hospitals means that a single figure would be misleading and, again, could result in inappropriate staffing in the most complex areas of care.

The improvement community have rightly argued that, given many of the current inefficiencies in how we provide care, setting a minimum would risk complacency in seeking opportunities to release time to care through workflow redesign.

That so many different perspectives have challenged the concept of a national minimum staffing level serves to illustrate the complexity of the issue.”

… continues on the site

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