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Staff focus

The latest news on staffing and workforce issues

Staff focus highlights health and morale in the workforce.

This theme highlights health and morale of the workforce. A positive working environment benefits staff and patients. Creating the best possible working conditions for nursing staff enables them to deliver the highest standards of patient care.

Staff focus

British Medical Journal

Safe staffing: this is how many doctors we really need

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has developed the first recommendations for safe medical staffing levels in UK hospitals.1 It urges NHS trusts to measure their workforce against these “indicative” standards (see visual summary) to guard against shortages that pose risks to patients.

Department of Health and Social Care

Agenda for Change pay deal: context and funding for 2018/19

The government has made an additional £800 million available to meet the costs of the Agenda for Change pay deal in 2018 to 2019. This guidance explains how the Department of Health and Social Care is allocating the additional £800 million.

Department of Health and Social Care

Government response to the nursing workforce report from the Health and Social Care Select Committee

This response sets out how the government is working with its arm’s length bodies to make sure the NHS continues to have the nursing workforce it needs, for patient and public benefit.


NHS in England facing deepening staffing crisis

The NHS is facing a deepening staffing crisis as hospitals report growing shortages of doctors, nurses, midwives and therapists, official figures have revealed. Vacancies across the NHS in England are running at the highest level since records began three years ago.


'Motherhood penalty' stops women advancing their NHS careers

Expert panel at Guardian event calls for more opportunities for flexible and part-time working. Cecilia Anim, the president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), who combines her role with frontline work as a sexual health nurse, told a Guardian event that women who work part-time in the health service are being held back.

Health Foundation

We need a coherent approach to our NHS workforce woes

The most recent data on the NHS workforce in England published late last week shows that vacancies for nurse and midwife posts continue to be at a historically high level with 34,700 vacancies advertised in the first quarter of this year. This is 5% more than the same period last year.

Health Foundation

Large drop in the number of new nurses coming from the EU to work in the UK

This has been driven by a fall in the number of EU nurse registrants which has dropped by 87% from 6,400 in 2016/17 to 800 in 2017/18. This comes as polling shoes that most UK adults (71%) think the UK should continue to try to attract nurses from the European Union after the UK leaves the EU.

Journal of Advanced Nursing

The association between nurse staffing and omissions in nursing care

Based on a review of 18 studies, it found that as many as 75% or more nurses reported omitting some care. Fourteen of the studies found low nurse staffing levels were significantly associated with higher reports of missed care. There found that there was little evidence that adding support workers to the team reduced missed care, thus suggesting that more nursing staff (rather than support workers) may be key.

King’s Fund

Leadership in today's NHS: delivering the impossible

Leaders in today's NHS operate in a climate of extreme pressure. Staffing vacancies are rife, there are widespread challenges in meeting financial and performance targets and demands on services continue to increase. This report, jointly published with NHS Providers, asks what can be done to support current leaders and encourage future ones.

NHS Employers

Event in the Tent initiative enhances staff engagement

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has sought to improve staff engagement in an innovative way through the Event in the Tent, learning from staff about how to resolve workplace issues and develop quality services.


Half a Lifetime of Working in the NHS

Mary-Anne Darby, Head of Patient & Public Involvement & Engagement for the Clinical Research Network West Midlands, reflects on working for the NHS for the past 35 years.

Skills for Health

Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework

This framework sets out the essential skills and knowledge necessary for staff with a role as a first point of contact for adults presenting with undiagnosed musculoskeletal conditions. The framework is relevant to different types of service provision and settings.

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Delivering integrated care: the role of the multidisciplinary team

Integrated care requires professionals and practitioners from across different sectors to work together around the needs of people, their families and their communities. Multi-disciplinary teams can help professionals in health and care services to collaborate successfully.

World Health Organization

The toolkit for a sustainable health workforce in the WHO European Region

This toolkit is aimed at policy-makers, human resources for health (HRH) planners and professionals, and other stakeholders, such as education institutions and those implementing policy. It is framed around four strategic domains: education and performance; planning and investment; capacity-building; and analysis and monitoring.

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