9 Staffing when workforce capacity is reduced

9 Staffing when workforce capacity is reduced

9.1 If healthcare professionals need to self-isolate but are well, ensure that they can continue to help by: 

  • enabling telephone or video consultations and attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings

  • identifying patients who are suitable for remote monitoring and follow up and those who are vulnerable and need support

  • entering data.

9.2 Support staff to keep in touch as much as possible, to support their mental wellbeing.

9.3 Prioritise safe staffing of dialysis services. Cross-cover from other staffing groups is difficult because of the specific skills and training needed. Regional networks should enable rapid transfer of staff from one organisation to another to maintain safe levels of care.

9.4 Identify all staff in the regional network who have experience in dialysis but are not currently working in the area. Provide them with training and support to allow them to be incorporated into the dialysis workforce if necessary.

9.5 Contact dialysis industry partners to discuss the potential for them to release any dialysis-trained staff they employ in non-patient facing roles to work in dialysis units.

9.6 Think about deploying staff without skills in dialysis to dialysis units to aid patient flow and provide support to trained staff in patient care and unit administration between hospital trusts.

9.7 Have written protocols in place for all processes critical to the provision of dialysis and ensure that cross-cover arrangements for staff are defined.

9.8 Provide tailored human resources advice to allow agile and safe staff deployment.

9.9 When dialysis for NHS patients is supported by the independent sector, ensure that measures are applied as they would be across the NHS, including for:

  • COVID-19 testing

  • staff in vital logistics roles such as home-delivery drivers

  • renal technical staff and clinical staff.

9.10 Regularly review staffing levels and have plans to flexibly adjust nurse-to-patient ratios if needed.

9.11 Do a risk review of the frequency of all routine assessments and only do those that are deemed necessary.

9.12 Take account of the information on the NHS Employers website about good partnership working and issues to consider when developing local plans to combat COVID‑19.