Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

11th June 2020

How do you determine if staffing levels are appropriate?

I work in A nursing home with 31 residents. During the day there is 4 staff and during the night there are 2 members of staff. We don’t have time to have a break and we are constantly on our feet. Is this legal and is it the right staffing levels?

Dear J

Thank you for your question and the issue of staffing is one that is frequently asked. CQC Regulation 18 Staffing says that to meet the regulation, providers must provide sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times and the other regulatory requirements. They also say providers should have a systematic approach to determine the number of staff and the range of skills required to meet the needs of people using the service and keep them safe at all times. The approach they use must reflect current legislation and guidance where it is available. In determining the number of staff and range of skills required to meet people's needs, they should consider the different levels of skills and competence required to meet those needs, the registered professional and support workers needed, supervision needs and leadership requirements. Several dependency tools can be used to calculate the needs of the residents which will help determine the safe level of staffing. I think it’s important though, that if you are worried that it isn’t safe, you have a chat with your manager and explain why. Have some examples prepared of situations where it felt unsafe, maybe talk through all the care plans it maybe they need a review and the manager isn’t aware that care needs have changed. If your manager doesn’t listen and you are still worried, you will need to follow your Whistleblowing policy. I do hope this helps.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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