All NHS Trusts are required to publish information about the number of nursing staff working on their wards, together with the percentage of shifts that meet safe staffing guidelines.
Our ward managers work with the Director of Nursing to decide how many staff we need for each shift. We call this 'the planned staffing number'.
Sometimes the actual staffing number is below the planned number. This could be because of staff sickness, or because there is a lower number of patients on the ward than usual. When this happens we often need to move staff from one area to work in another.
Sometimes the actual staffing number is higher than the planned number. This could be because there are patients on the ward who need extra care. Information about safe staffing levels can not tell you if a hospital is safe or unsafe.