New study to assess safe staffing levels on hospital wards
Bangor University researchers will be working with the University of Southampton on a new study to assess the implementation, impact and costs of safe staffing policies for nursing in acute trusts.
Researchers will ask 155 Trusts in England to evaluate safe staffing initiatives including their own response rate to the issue.
The study will be led by Jane Ball and Professor Peter Griffiths at the University of Southampton, with collaboration from Bangor University’s Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone, Pro Vice-chancellor and Professor Christopher Burton from the School of Healthcare Sciences.
Professor Chris Burton, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with colleagues from the University of Southampton in this important study. It provides us with a unique opportunity to integrate our expertise in implementation science with Southampton’s considerable experience in nursing workforce research. This will enable us to shine new light on the impacts of safer staffing policies in the National Health Service, and learn more about how we can ensure the delivery of safe and effective healthcare for patients.”
Professor Griffiths, of the University of Southampton comments: “Having enough staff with the right skills is key to patient safety. Our previous research demonstrates a clear link between nurse staffing levels and hospital related death. This new study is to identify the costs and consequences of implementing safe staffing policies, and to explain what has shaped successful implementation.”
The study, funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (PRP), examine in detail how safe staffing policies have been implemented, how implementation has varied, what changes in staffing levels are observed, and whether observed staffing changes are associated with changes in staff and patient outcomes.
Jane Ball comments: “The NHS needs to know how safe staffing policies have been implemented, how this varies across the country, and the costs and consequences. Understanding what worked where and for who, can help inform future guidance provided to the NHS. In the current financial context, using resources (staffing is the biggest element) wisely to minimise the risks of hospital care and maximise the benefits to patients is essential; understanding the costs and consequences of implementing safe staffing policy is key to this.”
The Southampton study is part of a research programme funded by PRP to examine the implementation and impact of policies following the Francis inquiry. More information is available at: http://www.prp-ccf.org.uk/PRPFiles/Lay_summaries_in_progress_January_16.pdf
Publication date: 19 May 2016