Staff Levels to be Displayed on Public Boards in Wards

A health trust is to display staffing levels on public notice boards in all its wards by the end of the month.

The Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the county’s community hospitals and mental health wards, has announced the new measure as part of efforts to ensure safe staffing levels.

It is one of several steps being taken by bosses in response to a report into the Mid-Staffordshire scandal, where patients died or suffered unnecessarily due to severe, widespread failings.

It prompted a national inquiry and publication of the Hard Truths report, which is being used across the NHS to prevent similar tragedies happening elsewhere. Like other trusts, the Cumbria Partnership is setting out exactly what it is doing to assure staffing levels are safe at its in-patient wards and areas.

A full report will be presented to the board of directors at a meeting in Penrith on Thursday this week.

It states that by the end of April, all wards will display their staffing levels on notice boards for the public to see, adding: “In due course this will be replaced by the roll-out of electronic information boards.”

The trust’s director of nursing has also established a task group to focus on staffing levels. This will pull together detailed information for the directors, which will presented at the trust’s monthly board meetings in future.

In June the board will also receive an in-depth report looking at how best to calculate safe staffing levels and how this could impact on its workforce and finances.

This week’s meeting will also look at the wider implications of the Hard Truths report and its recommendations for health trusts.

In particular there will be changes to the way complaints are presented to the board in future, so that problems can be flagged up, acted upon quickly and lessons learnt.