The Emergency Department Safer Nursing Care Tool is now available to use in NHS emergency departments in England. Developed by the Shelford Group chief nurses, licenced by Imperial College London and supported by the NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, the Emergency Department Safer Nursing Care Tool (ED SNCT) calculates nurse staffing requirements for emergency departments based on patients’ needs (acuity and dependency). Together with professional judgement, the tool supports emergency department managers and chief nurses in their safe staffing decisions.
The Safer Nursing Care Tools (SNCT), including the Mental Health Optimal Staffing Tool (MHOST), are free to use by NHS trusts in England.
Emergency Department Safer Nursing Care Tool makes an innovative and valuable contribution by providing the following:
- Establishment set by Annual Attendance as well as Acuity and Dependency
- Care Hours to Contact metrics on the current and recommended establishments
- A Deployment arm showing the hourly staffing requirement aligned to the acuity & dependency.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tool has been further developed to consider the implications of COVID-19 on staffing. From major trauma centres to district general hospitals with emergency departments, the tool offers nurses a reliable method when used in conjunction with professional judgement to deliver evidence-based workforce plans to support existing emergency department services as well as emerging services. Developed in partnership with a range of NHS organisations and types of emergency departments, it is suitable for determining nurse staffing requirements in all emergency departments including both adult and children’s and young people’s settings.