Endorsed resource - The Safer Nursing Care Tool (SNCT)

The following features of the Safer Nursing Care Tool are in line with the guideline's recommendations on setting establishments.

  • Provision for fluctuations in planned and predictable variations, such as leave.
  • Identification of a preferred registered nurse/support worker split for each ward.
  • Use of the same patient factors and nursing staff factors to calculate nurse staffing establishments based on average requirements.
  • Support for the use of professional judgement with the toolkit.
  • Encouraging analysis of patient acuity and dependency, by ward, twice a year.

The SNCT does not fully cover all the areas in the guideline, however it does include Nursing Sensitive Indicators, equivalent to some of the items identified as ‘red flags' in the guideline.

The SNCT should be used in conjunction with the NICE guideline. In addition to making recommendations on setting establishments, the guideline also provides advice on how to determine nursing requirements on a shift-by-shift basis at ward level, including the patient-, staff- and ward-related factors that need to be considered. It recommends ‘red flags' that indicate when insufficient staff are available and provides organisation-wide advice on how to support and monitor staffing levels.


This page was last updated: 15 July 2014