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Safe staffing

In the wake of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust enquiry, the Francis Report (2013) identified unsafe staffing levels and inappropriate skill-mixes as one of the factors leading to many of the identified failings within the Trust.

It emphasised the need for all Trusts to ensure that they provide safe services to their patients and critical to this is having appropriate staffing levels on wards to deliver safe care.

Recent reviews by Keogh (2013), Berwick (2013), and Cavendish (2013) regarding mortality rates, patient safety, and the roles of health care assistants and support workers, also emphasised the risks to patients of not prioritising professional skill-mix and staffing levels.

In August 2013, the National Quality Board (NQB), in collaboration with the Chief Nurse for England demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that staff with the necessary skills, are in the right place and at the right time, by publishing a guide to nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability (2013).

This guide set out ten national expectations to help providers, commissioners, staff and patients work together to make these expectations a reality.

One of these expectations is that each NHS Trust reviews staffing levels within their organisation on a six-monthly basis (using nationally recognised and evidence-based tools and professional judgement) and reports on staffing rotas on a monthly basis.

Reviewing staffing levels at Bedford Hospital

It is a national priority to ensure that healthcare organisations maintain safe staffing levels and complete regular staffing reviews in the interest of safe patient care.

Between 2013 and 2014, Bedford Hospital has completed two staffing reviews and as a result of the findings, invested in an additional 22 registered nurse posts. Senior ward sisters, also known as ward managers, have also been made supervisory in their role to oversee patient care and to provide strong, visible leadership on the wards.

Reporting staffing levels at Bedford Hospital

To download staffing information on a ward by ward basis (including staffing data and commentary), please click on the links below:


Month Ward by ward staffing report
January Download report
February Download report
March Download report
April Download report
May Download report
July Download report
August Download report
September Download report


Month Ward by ward staffing report
May Download report
June Download report
July Download report
August Download report
September Download report
October Download report
Download report
December Download report

Staffing levels are also presented to the Trust Board at its monthly meetings which are held in public. You can view papers for these meetings on the Trust Board papers page. Due to timings of Trust Board meetings, staffing reports presented at the meetings reflect the previous month’s staffing.

For further information on the reporting of staffing levels at Bedford Hospital, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.