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Praise for NICE-endorsed Establishment Genie staff planning tool

Directors of nursing have praised an advanced planning tool which has recently been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Directors of nursing have praised an advanced planning tool which has recently been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)


NICE have praised an advanced planning tool being rolled-out in hospitals. Picture: iStock

The Establishment Genie is currently being trialled at three sites in England after being created in 2014 by healthcare management consultants Creative Lighthouse.

The new tool:

  • Allows senior nurses to input data about what level of care can be provided by nurses and healthcare assistants, in line with available budgets.
  • Shows skill mix, number of admissions, average shift fill rate, as well as patient outcomes – such as numbers of falls and pressure ulcers.
  • Compares wards with each other at up to three points in a 24-hour period.

Director of nursing and elective care at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Shelagh Meldrum said: ‘The tool is used primarily by the ward sisters and matrons, and gives them the opportunity to explore new rotas within their current financial envelope.

‘In addition it has given (them) a greater understanding and appreciation of their rota costings and headroom. The tool allows benchmarking across all wards in the organisation and we have found it simple to use.’

Putting the tool to use

Director of patient services at Royal Trinity Hospice Martin Powell used the tool to carry out a comprehensive review of his nursing establishment in the inpatient centre.

He added: ‘It was incredibly helpful in demonstrating how an establishment is only part of the challenge.

‘The tool identified where resources were disproportionately allocated on some shifts, and the consequences of this with regards to meeting our predetermined, optimal staffing levels.

‘This isn’t just about increasing the numbers of nurses in an establishment, it’s about ensuring there is consistently good cover across the working week, when we have the right grade of nurses, in the right place at the right time.’

Hospital trial

The third organisation currently using the tool is Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust who we also approached for a comment, but as yet have received no reply.

NICE’s decision to endorse The Establishment Genie follows its approval of the nurse-led Shelford Group’s Safer Nursing Care Tool (SNCT) for acute hospitals in 2011.

Unlike the SNCT the new tool does not include patient acuity and dependency measurements, nor is it intended for day-to-day rota changes.


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