NICE guidelines: Birthrate Plus (BR+) had been a stakeholder and had the opportunity to comment on the safe staffing guidelines for maternity services
Some colleagues expressed surprise that BR+ was not immediately recommended by NICE. This fits with NICE procedures and their comment regarding the lack of an independent evaluation of BR+. However this is hardly the fault of BR+, which we consider, has been robustly evaluated by its application throughout the NHS and abroad.
We are currently completing the documentation to seek endorsement by NICE of BR+, which is the normal process once guidance is made publicly available.
All the current toolkits remain available and during the summer we plan, with the help of service colleagues, to complete the development of a Ward Acuity Tool.
Also on offer will be guidance on how units who have had a BR+ study can use the staff breakdown to report on the basis for the required 6/12 reviews of staffing numbers. This will include a high-level workforce tool to calculate the required staffing for hospital and community.
As colleagues will be aware our resources are slender and if we are to meet the challenges now facing us, we will need to a) to recruit services willing to provide support to others embarking on the IP Acuity tool and b) to find suitable candidates who might join a team of those able to support services through a full workforce planning study.
From 1st March, Birthrate Plus Consultancy Ltd is succeeded by Birthrate Plus Associates Ltd as Jean and Marie are now in partnership with colleagues who can offer additional skills and expertise and so increase our resources to midwifery services and other organisations, namely,
- The RCM
- Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Director of Midwifery/Divisional Director of Nursing Women & Children's Imperial College Healthcare Trust
- Richard Griffin, Director Institute of Vocational Learning and Workforce Research, Bucks New University
The contact details for Birthrate Plus Associates Ltd remain via Marie Washbrook.