Safer Staffing

Nurse and patient on ward

Safe Staffing levels are at the cornerstone of providing high quality patient care. At Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, we are committed to ensuring our nurse and midwifery staffing levels are sufficient to provide a high standard of care to our patients and is a key part of the 2016-17 Trust Objectives.

  • Make improvements in quality and safety so we are one of the best performing Trusts in the country.
  • Improve staff experience to support attraction and retention, and reduction in use of agency staff.
  • Deliver the Trust’s financial target for 2016/17 as we move towards a balanced budget position by 2020.  Our goal is to become one of the best performing Trusts in the county for efficiency and managing our resources.
  • Ensure our workforce is resourced and deployed effectively to meet the needs of patients at evenings and weekends.
  • Make the best use of technology to benefit patients and staff across the health system.
  • Work with our partners to develop a shared vision and plan for the future of sustainable local health services to meet the needs of local people.


From June 2014 it is a national requirement for all hospitals to publish information about staffing levels on wards, including the percentage of shifts meeting their agreed staffing levels.

This initiative is part of the NHS response to the Francis Report which called for greater openness and transparency in the health service.

NHS England has produced guidance to support NHS Trusts in ensuring safe staffing requirements:

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

Safe Staffing National Data Set

Trust's safe staffing data is available on the NHS Choices website via the following links:

The data submitted to UNIFY in 2016/17 is also available below.

Trust Safe Staffing UNIFY returns

These are all large Excel spreadsheets - 3MB each





Interpreting the data

The registered nurse/midwife data includes all Registered Nurse/ Midwives including the Ward Sisters/Charge Nurses and Care Staff which means the Health Care Assistants or Midwifery Support Workers on the inpatient wards.

  • ‘Planned hours’ refers to the number of hours based on the agreed funded staffing establishment
  • ‘Actual hours’ refers to the total number of hours worked by permanent and/or temporary staff this may show as over 100% where additional staff are required over establishment for enhanced care. Patients often need additional support or enhanced care during their stay this can be for a number of reasons.

Each Division reviews the staffing levels and produces a report where there are actual staffing hours below 80% or above 110%.

This is reported to the Trust Board monthly (this data is presented to the board retrospectively reflecting staffing levels two month earlier).

These reports are available in section 2 below.

Safe Staffing Monthly Exception Reports reported to the Trust Board

Six monthly Safe Staffing establishment review

The Trust undertakes safe staffing nursing establishment review every six months in line with national expectation the staffing levels are being reviewed using data obtained in line with the Safer Nursing Care Tool.

The safe staffing report and outcome of the last review is available via the following link to the Trust Board Papers:

Safe staffing review August 2016 

Staffing status information

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust displays daily ‘staffing status’ information, which provides the planned and actual numbers of staff on shift each day and is displayed daily as part of the Knowing how we are doing boards where they can be clearly seen by patients, visitors and staff

Cherry Ward dashboard showing staffing levels Cherry Ward close up of the staffing levels for the day

Have you got a question about staffing levels?

For more information about staffing levels in our hospitals please contact:

Amanda Rolland, Head of Nursing Workforce and Education  

Email:     Telephone: 07789 032705