Safe Staffing

At Sheffield Teaching Hospitals we take caring for our patients very seriously. As well as delivering the best clinical outcomes from treatments or operations, your nursing and midwifery care should also be of a high standard with nurse staffing to deliver this.

With this in mind we closely monitor not just the number of registered nurses or midwives on duty on each ward but we also consider the level of nursing and midwifery skills required.

We regularly review our nursing and midwifery staffing levels using a number of national validated nursing workforce tools to assess what the correct safe staffing levels should be for different wards. This is based on the level of patient acuity and the required nursing care for patients on a ward or department. We use the Safer Nursing Care Tool to collect data on our wards, emergency, and acute admission areas as well as maternity and community services to help inform our nurse staffing levels. We also take into account and recognise the judgement of experienced nurses who know the wards and the patient’s level of need.

In addition, we continually monitor patient outcomes and quality indicators and consider these in our twice-yearly workforce reviews and when we are reviewing nurse staffing levels.

It is also important to remember that the team delivering care on a ward consists not only of registered nurses and midwives, but also other trained staff who work alongside them.

A one size fits all for nurse/midwife staffing levels is not always in the best interest of the patients because in some cases patients may need a higher ratio of nurses, for example in critical care where we have one to one care. In other areas patients may not need such a high ratio of Registered Nurses because they are not acutely ill anymore.

We have a senior nurse on duty 24hrs a day, 7 days a week on each hospital site whose role includes managing nurse staffing and ensuring safe staffing levels are maintained. This helps manage unexpected staff sickness or other issues which may mean a ward needs to call upon additional staffing.

We display the both the actual and planned staffing levels on all our wards on a shift-by-shift basis and the latest information is also available by clicking the links below.

Safe staffing report (download)

Board of Directors monthly staffing exception report

Most recent 6 monthly review of staffing


Additional Information

Did you know

We work in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield to help train student nurses and midwives and so we are very fortunate to have a pool of nurses to recruit from when they qualify each year. As one of the biggest Teaching Trusts in the NHS, we are very fortunate that healthcare professionals including nurses want to come and work here. Once employed many of our nurses stay with the Trust for the majority of their career and so we have a very stable and experienced workforce too.

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