Hospital Wards: Children and Young People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of NHS trusts' compliance with NHS Improvement guidance on safe staffing levels for children and young people’s wards.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are committed to ensuring that every trust has the support it requires, including the guidance and tools, to determine the right level and skill mix of staff at the right time.

There has been no specific assessment of National Health Service trusts' compliance with NHS Improvement guidance on safe staffing levels for children and young people’s wards.

However, systematic reviews of all relevant children’s services consider a broad range of aspects of care and include National Quality Board guidance on safe staffing. Any matters pertaining to workforce as a result of these reviews would be referred to the NHS England and NHS Improvement nursing clinical workforce team, who would then provide targeted support.

In addition, NHS trusts are required to specify the degree of their compliance with Developing Workforce Safeguards, which explains the principles behind safe staffing.

Developing Workforce Safeguards can be accessed via the following link:

https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/developing-workforce-safeguards/

In addition, appropriate staffing levels are a core element of the Care Quality Commission’s registration regime, which is underpinned by legislation. CQC inspectors assess against the key lines of enquiry on safe staffing in their framework.

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