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Small changes can improve outcomes in care homes, staffing experts conclude

Small but incremental changes to staffing methods can improve outcomes for people who experience care, concludes a review of care home staffing.

The Scottish Safe Staffing Programme, a work programme supporting the introduction of  The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act, looked at the effect of implementing PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) cycles on staffing. Certain actions were found to improve the care experience for residents and families, and staff:  

  • A better understanding of nurse’s workload, led to more time being available to devote to relatives of people experiencing care
  • Improved retention of night staff and agency staff enhanced consistency of support available to people who experience care
  • Formal staff induction improved staff understanding of their role and indirectly contributed to improved outcomes for people experiencing care
  • lmproved medicine management released staff to spend more time with people experiencing care.   Greater focus on staff wellbeing increased their sense of belonging.

Making recommendations in an end of year report, programme lead the Care Inspectorate concluded that a staffing method for use across the diverse care home sector has significant implications and will require the involvement and commitment of partner agencies and the social care sector, and validation from an academic institution, which also has resource implications.


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