Is there a scandal behind a deferred target. In 2015 Nice withdrew the standards for staffing levels. A&E staff should rightly be concerned, as should their patients. Trust Boards might find insurance liability was impossible if they fail to reach the staffing levels which should have been recommended by now, because there are too few. No wonder NHS England pulled the plug on NICE planned honesty. A “freedom of information” request has gone to NICE asking for details of the meeting when the decision not to publish was taken, and minutes of any subservient or preliminary meetings. This was a politically driven decision from an organisation which prides itself on the evidence. The fact that we are at least 50,000 staff short should not be relevant.
Dennis Campbell in The Guardian on 4th June 2015 reported this: NHS patient safety fears as health watchdog scraps staffing guidelines and NICE blamed NHS England: NHS England asks NICE to suspend safe staffing programme
Nice says it has stopped devising ratios of nurses to patients, as recommended in the report into Mid Staffs scandal, with NHS England taking over the work
NICE website reads: (July 2014)
Francis report on Mid Staffordshire (Francis 2013)
- Keogh review into the quality of care and treatment provided in 14 hospital trusts in England (Keogh 2013)
- Cavendish review, an independent enquiry into healthcare assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care setting (Cavendish 2013)
- Berwick report on improving the safety of patients in England (Berwick 2013).
The need for guidelines on safe staffing, including nursing staff, was also highlighted in the recent policy documents and responses:
- How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time. A guide to nursing midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability (National Quality Board 2013).
- Hard truths. The journey to putting patients first (Department of Health 2013).
On 18th January 2016 NICE released ” safe staffing evidence reviews “ as a result of FOI requests.
In Maternity care: Safe midwifery staffing for maternity settings was published Feb 2015 12m ago
Ministers and NHS bosses face an embarrassing row over safe staffing levels for nurses in hospital A&E departments in England after it emerged that the government body told to stop work in this area is going to publish its recommendations anyway.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice), which is legally independent of the NHS, plans to release its work at the end of the month.
It is also continuing evidence reviews for staffing mental health care for both inpatients and those in the community, for learning disability services and for other community health services.
The move, revealed by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), comes a month after news that NHS England, which is far more tightly controlled by the Department of Health (DH), had decided to take such work in-house.
You cannot miss a target that is not in place