A tool to calculate safe nurse staffing levels.Nurs Times. 2015 Jan 14-20; 111(3):12-4.NT
A guideline from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and a NICE-endorsed tool on safer nursing care allow decisions on safe staffing levels to be made at a local level. Decisions must be based on sound evidence and factoring in patients' individual needs as well as numbers of patients. The Safer Nursing Care Tool helps nurses decide on safe nurse staffing for acute wards based on patients' level of sickness and dependency. It also includes quality indicators linked to nursing care to help ensure staffing levels achieve best patient care. The tool is easy to use by frontline nursing staff, but must be applied correctly and consistently for data to be valid, and to allow benchmarking against agreed standards. It should be combined with nurses' professional judgement and account for local factors.