As May turns to June things are really hotting up in preparation for the first national staffing numbers return for publishing on 24th June and the NICE Guidance recently published on the same.

All hospitals that have beds have to report planned staffing versus actual staffing by the hour, by day shift and by night shift. This raw figure will report on the number of Registered Nurses, Registered Midwives and Clinical Support Workers working any given shift against what the staffing levels should have been.

This will be a great challenge and industry for ward managers where electronic rostering is not implemented, or where the exceptions to support individual working pattern preference over service need is not well managed.

For better or worse this exercise will force Ward Managers, Senior Sisters, Midwives and Matrons to have those difficult conversations and will shine a beacon of good practice on those who ‘run a tight ship’

…and what of the published data? Matron Mary’s opinion is that without a narrative and story it will be pretty meaningless, how acutely ill were the patients? How many beds on a ward? What is the expected acuity for elective admissions over the week and is this reflected in staffing numbers? There is so much more to safe staffing than pure numbers! Lazy journalists may well have a field day with this – But  YOU know that, comments please?