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Safe staffing levels

Last updated: 19/03/2024

Nurses, midwives and care staff in our Trust are committed to providing compassionate and skilled care to patients every day.

From April 2014 all hospitals are required to report and publish the numbers of nurses, midwives and care staff working on patient wards. This requirement follows the publication of the Francis Report in 2013 which called for greater openness and transparency in the Health Service.

We will be presenting this information in a number of ways:

  • Displaying daily information on boards for patients and visitors inside every ward about the number of nurses, midwives and care staff present and planned on each shift.
  • Information about staffing levels will be published monthly on our website and on NHS Choices. Full details will also be reported to public meetings of our Board of Directors. 

If you have any questions about staffing levels in our hospitals our staff will be pleased to help or you can contact Deirdre Fowler, Chief Nurse at: deirdre.fowler@uhbw.nhs.uk 

The Trust's approach to assuring safe staffing levels to meet day-to-day patient care lies with clinical Divisions who are responsible for the ongoing management of staffing and ensuring resources are deployed where needed. Divisional Heads of Nursing/Midwifery and Matrons assess daily staffing levels on a regular basis. Nurse staffing levels are proactively managed through daily divisional meetings where the Matrons and Heads of Nursing assess current staffing, address shortfalls by reallocating staff and work with our Temporary Staffing Bureau to escalate where short falls in staffing cannot be rectified. The steps taken are outlined below:

  • The Ward Sister/Midwife/Charge Nurse will respond to any unplanned changes to staffing such as staff sickness or changes in the acuity (the patients' medical condition) and dependency (the level of nursing care a patient requires) of patients on their ward. They will escalate to a Matron if any shortfalls in staffing still exist.
  • Trust Matrons and Senior Midwives will reallocate staff across their areas of responsibility to ensure safe staffing levels. They will escalate to their Head of Nursing if they are unable to resolve issues and ensure safe staffing levels.
  • Heads of Nursing and Head of Midwifery will escalate to a nursing agency if the Trust Temporary Staffing Bureau is unable to fill shifts. The Heads of Nursing/Midwifery will review the staffing situation and will undertake a risk assessment across the whole Trust and will reallocate staff where necessary to ensure safe staffing levels.


Safe staffing levels 2022 - February 2024

Safe staffing levels 2021 - 2022

Safe staffing levels 2020 - 2021