WORKFORCE: Planned nurse staffing levels were not met for 19 per cent of inpatient shifts at Newcastle Upon Tyne Foundation Trust in April, according to a paper discussed at its May board meeting.

This accounts for 205 shifts in total, including 96 early shifts, 81 late shifts and 28 night shifts.

The trust also failed to meeting planned nursing staffing levels in a further 48 shifts from non-inpatient areas.

“Ensuring staffing is safe within care environments is a very high priority. Every day across the trust, key clinical leaders, such as matrons and ward sisters, agree and manage staffing levels, including reacting to issues/shortfalls. Governance around staffing is high and frameworks are in place to support decision making,” the paper states.

“Monitoring planned and actual staffing and dependency levels across the Trust in ‘real time’ is an aspiration and development which is underway. Planned and actual staffing levels are displayed on wards and departments, where appropriate, for public information and transparency.”

From April, the monitoring of nursing staffing levels was incorporated into the trust’s clinical assurance toolkit, which means that sister or charge nurses are responsible for recording planned and actual staffing  one week in the month from the majority of clinical areas in the trust.