Skills for Care has launched a new online guide to help social care employers make sure they have the right number of skilled staff to meet the needs of their service.
Safe staffing is all about having enough staff who have the right values, knowledge and skills to deliver high quality care and support whatever the circumstances. Getting staffing levels right means that people can access safe and effective care that’s responsive to their needs.
Safe staffing also help services to meet their legal and regulatory responsibilities including with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Despite safe staff staffing being fundamental to quality care and support, the CQC report that ‘too many providers [are] struggling along without having enough staff to deliver safe and effective services.’
Recruitment remains a challenge for lots of social care employers, and Skills for Care designed this guide to help give them the practical tools to do their best in these difficult situations.
Skills for Care Project manager Rob Hargreaves says that although there’s no single solution to address safe staffing there are some common things that good and outstanding providers do.
“As a manager, it’s your responsibility to decide how many staff you need to deliver a safe, effective and responsive service,” notes Rob. “This will depend on your service and the people you support, and it could change over time. This guide will help you decide how many staff you need and what you can do to maintain these levels.”
“But safe staffing isn’t just about numbers – it’s about ensuring staff have the right values and skills, and stay long enough to build trusting relationships with the people they support.
“Having a consistent team of staff who know individuals well is an important part of safe staffing. It enables staff to get to know people and their needs better and makes them more likely to notice changes in people’s health and wellbeing” says Rob.
The online guide includes tips about deciding how many staff an organisation needs to provide a safe service, contingency planning for short term staff shortages, embedding the right recruitment checks and how to effectively use bank and agency staff.
You can download the guide free from Skills for Care’s website at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/safestaffing.