NICE leak: A&Es could be understaffed ‘half of the time’

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence document, reproduced by HSJ today, suggested A&E departments needed to build a margin of safety into their nurse staffing plans in order to provide safer care and tackle “common” overcrowding. NICE accepted this would leave departments overstaffed at times.

The committee said boards should review A&E nurse staffing levels every six months

An appendix to the guideline, produced by NICE’s safe staffing committee, said the current NHS practice of planning A&E staff establishments based on historical attendance figures meant “staffing levels may not meet demand approximately almost half of the time using the historical average”.

It said trusts should plan expected attendance by increasing the historical data by one standard deviation measure and that analysis undertaken following the January 2015 publication of draft guidelines had shown this would reduce periods of excess demand to 15 per cent of the time…

Read full article in HSJ.