About Us

Safe Staffing Levels

We take patient safety very seriously. We aim to provide you with healthcare at its very best with a personal touch, and are proud of the Nursing and Midwifery care we provide in all of our hospitals.

All hospitals are required to publish information about staffing levels: this means, the number of Nurse, Midwives and support (care) staff working on our wards and departments. This is displayed separately for day and night shifts and tells you how close the actual staffing levels are compared to the planned staffing levels.

These staffing levels are published as a summary on our NHS Choices pages. You can access the summaries for individual hospital sites on the NHS Choices website:

The full reports are available in more detail below (see the 'publishing staffing section').

From June 2014, full details are reported to public meetings of our Board of Directors.

Staff and workload

Staffing is complex and not as simple as just numbers. It requires understanding about the skills of staff, and workload on a ward at a particular time. Nurse staffing is constantly being reviewed and considered when there are changes in services. All of our wards have both senior and junior Sisters/Charge Nurses, and are supported by Matrons and Heads of Nursing/Midwifery. This provides a professional framework to support safe and effective staffing.

Nurse Staffing Review

From 2013/14, we have been undertaking reviews of Nursing and Midwifery staffing. From April 2014 we have also been regularly using the ‘Safer Nursing Care Tool’ (SNCT). This tool measures each patient’s dependency/alertness on a daily basis. A calculation is applied to determine the number of staff required to care for those patients. The SNCT was endorsed by NICE in September 2014.

This provides us with a snapshot in time and is used for information about trends. The results of the SNCT, along with the professional judgment of the Sisters, Charge Nurses, Matrons and the review team, were all used to determine each ward’s staffing levels.

This led to: agreed staffing levels for all inpatient areas; investment in nurse staffing; and a clear escalation process when required staffing levels are not met. There is now a six-monthly Nurse staffing review process in place for all in patient wards, which complies with national guidance.

In 2014/2015 we performed a review of all other areas - again as a snapshot in time. National guidelines were used where available; where there were no guidelines the professional judgment of Matrons, Sisters and the Senior Nursing Team were key in understanding Nurse staffing across such a wide variety of areas.

Newcastle Hospitals continually monitors the Nursing workforce as services grow and develop, and have invested in additional posts as part of the Nurse Staffing Review.

Publishing staffing information

As part of the NHS response to the Francis Report which called for greater openness and transparency in the health service, all hospitals are now required to publish staffing information.

Newcastle Hospitals continually monitor the Nursing workforce as services grow and develop, and have invested in additional posts as part of the Nurse Staffing Review.

The spreadsheet below demonstrates the planned and actual staffing figures broken down by Registered Nurses, Midwives, and Care staff for the previous calendar month for all our inpatient areas:

  • planned staffing is the amount (in hours) of Registered Nurses, Midwives and Care support staff time that each ward can plan to have on duty each day ie the way they use their funded establishment.
  • actual staffing is the amount of staff time (in hours) actually on duty each day. These are broken down by day and night shift (night shift is defined as the shift in which midnight occurs).

Some of the figures may be over 100%, this is due to the ward having more than the planned number of staff . This is likely to be as a result of the a shortfall in one grade of staff being replaced by another to ensure adequate overall numbers are on duty to provide care or, on occasions when additional staff are drafted in to meet specific demands on the ward, eg “specialing” of patients with unexpectedly complex needs.

From June 2016 Care Hours per Patient Day (CHPPD) has been added to the data to be published. This is calculated by dividing the number of staff on duty over a 24 hour period by the number of patients on the ward at 23.59 hours. This is provided as an overall figure and broken down by RN and support staff, Wards are expected to vary as patient acuity / dependency is not accounted for in this calculation. Also Wards which include day case beds or outpatient areas will have a higher ratio as fewer patients will be on the Ward at 23.59 hours.

Monthly reports

Please note, the reports are in an Excel format and may take some time to download:

More information

For more information about Nursing and Midwifery staffing in our hospitals, please contact our Executive Chief Nurse, Maurya Cushlow

For more information about staffing and Open and Honest Care, visit the NHS England website

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