NHS England will develop work programmes to support the development of guidance for safe staffing in the community, states chief nursing officer Jane Cummings.
In an open letter to nursing directors, Ms Cummings said that 'for the areas of work such as learning diabaility and community care, we will establish work programmes to support the development of guidance by working with the new learning disability fast-track sites and the Five Year Forward View vanguards.'
Ms Cummings uses the letter to highlight the 'three misconceptions' around the move of safe staffing from NICE to NHS England. She said that they will not be making any changes to the NICE guidance that has already been issued, none of the work from NHS England will challege CQC's role and this is not about saving money.
She said: 'I would not suggest anything that would compromise patient safety. It would be against all I have repeatedly highlighted since I became CNO and is fundamental to our profession.'
Ms Cummings wrote that seeing NICE's work as the sole focus on safe staffing is to 'miss the point.' Instead she says we should look at all the staff involved not just nurses and to look beyond the hospital setting. She also said that a one-size fits all approach will not work.
The Mental Health Taskforce will be leading the work on staffing in mental health settings. They will report back at the end of the year and take into account the mental health staffing guidance that has recently been developed with colleagues from the Mental Health Directors or Nursing Network.
The full letter can be read here