Achieving safe district and community nurse caseloads, staffing levels and skill mix in order to deliver the increasing demand for care close to or in the home are a key challenge for primary and community care organisations in the UK. However there is a national crisis in relation to robust workforce evidence due to a lack of tools available to capture the complexity of care being delivered in different geographical locations to meet rural and urban patient population need. This paper presents a case study to illustrate the potential benefits of implementing Cassandra, a community workload analysis tool in one community provider organisation in the south of England.
The Cassandra tool provides potential to: i) model the multidimensional complexity of care in different contexts and populations; ii) develop a potential blueprint for robust monitoring of decisions related to safe caseloads, staffing levels and skill mix; iii) when triangulated with other metrics, provides additional value to organisations as it enables an accurate picture to be created to monitor safe caseload, staffing levels, skill mix and competence and impacts on quality of patient care and commissioning of services in different geographies. As a place based demand tool this offers real opportunity to improve the evidence base of workforce planning and development driven by the needs of community populations.