Quality and Value
The Safer Nursing Care tool – Linking Staffing to Quality Outcomes
What is it?
The Safer Nursing Care Tool is a robust valid evidence-based easy to use tool which uses acuity and dependency to help plan for future workforce requirement.

It is a natural extension to the original Association of United Kingdom University Hospitals (AUKUH)  Patient Care Portfolio project.
What are the benefits?
  • Helps to review the impact of actual staffing levels on the quality and care delivered to the monitoring of nurse sensitive indicators (NSIs).
  • Helps NHS teams determine or evaluate ward team size and mix easily and quickly. Teams can benchmark their staffing and NSIs against similar wards and departments internally and externally.
  • When linked to NSIs will also offer nurses a reliable method against which to deliver evidence-based workforce plans to support existing services or the development of new services. It will also help to define establishment levels, skill-mix and training and development of staff to provide high quality patient experience.
Who is aimed at?
  • Acute general adult inpatient services
  • Ward based staff providing a functional tool that gives them an output that they can use to inform them of staffing levels and their care processes
  • Matrons, nurses and divisional managers to help identify risk and enable them to influence and apply resource where applicable.
  • Board level to provide assurance that staffing is based on actual workload and linking it to quality outcomes. Uses evidence to ensure that financial resources are used appropriately across the organisation.
  • The Safer Nursing Care Tool is free to all NHS trusts in England.  However, we require each trust to nominate a Safer Nursing Care Tool lead (who will receive information about access to the tool and (training?). We recommended that a lead is nominated before your organisation embarks on using the tool.
Test sites:

The tool was tested in March 2010 with the following trusts:
  • North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Royal Wolverhampton Hospital
Early implementer sites:

The first phase of our launch commences in July 2010 with 20 early implementer trusts across 7 SHA’s.

Participating trusts are as follows:

East Midlands:
  • Derby Hospitals NHS FT
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

East of England:

  • Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust


  • King's College Hospital NHS FT
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (includes Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s)
  • St Georges Healthcare NHS Trus
South Central:
  • Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS FT
  • Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust
South East Coast:
  • Queen Victoria Hospital NHS FT
  • Western Sussex NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospital NHS FT
  • Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
West Midlands:
  • University Hospitals of Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • The Royal Orthopaedic NHS Foundation Trust
Yorks & Humber:
  • Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust
  • Rotherham FT
  • North Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals NHS FT
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT
When will it be available?
We are currently evaluating the outcome from the early implementer trusts before launching the tool and providing access to the wider NHS. The go live launch date will be publicised on this website.

If you want to know more please email  snct@institute.nhs.uk