University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Using Workload Measurement Tools in Diverse Care Contexts: the Experience of Staff in Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Settings

Fanneran, T., Brimblecombe, N., Bradley, Eleanor ORCID: and Gregory, S. (2015) Using Workload Measurement Tools in Diverse Care Contexts: the Experience of Staff in Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Settings. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 22 (10). pp. 764-772. ISSN Online: 1365-2850

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The critical challenge of determining the correct level and skill-mix of nursing staff required to deliver safe and effective healthcare has become an international concern. It is recommended that evidence-based staffing decisions are central to the development of future workforce plans. Workforce planning in mental health and learning disability nursing is largely under-researched with few tools available to aid the development of evidence-based staffing levels in these environments.

It was the aim of this study to explore the experience of staff using the Safer Nursing Care Tool (SNCT) and the Mental Health and Learning Disability Workload Tool (MHLDWT) in mental health and learning disability environments.

Following a 4-week trial period of both tools a survey was distributed via Qualtrics on-line survey software to staff members who used the tools during this time.

The results of the survey revealed that the tools were considered a useful resource to aid staffing decisions; however specific criticisms were highlighted regarding their suitability to psychiatric intensive care units (PICU) and learning disability wards.

This study highlights that further development of workload measurement tools is required to support the implementation of effective workforce planning strategies within mental health and learning disability services.

Implications for Practice
With increasing fiscal pressures the need to provide cost-effective care is paramount within NHS services. Evidence-based workforce planning is therefore necessary to ensure that appropriate levels of staff are determined. This is of particular importance within mental health and learning disability services due to the reduction in the number of available beds and an increasing focus on purposeful admission and discharge.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: acute care, evidence-based practice, service management, workforce planning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Eleanor Bradley
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2015 10:30
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 04:00

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