In Northern Ireland there has been a review of the use of the Delivering Care Staffing Policy (2014). Redeployment of existing staff along with changes made by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to allow temporary registration of nurses and midwives who have recently left the register and deployment of a range of nursing and midwifery students to clinical areas to complete elements of their undergraduate programmes, will add to the workforce.

This will mean however, that many teams in service settings will have members who are unfamiliar with for example: the model of nursing or midwifery; the usual range of nursing and midwifery interventions and treatments; medications and fluid management regimens normally used.

This sudden influx of staff may require a change to how additional staff are allocated and how nursing or midwifery practice is organised in any particular clinical setting.

Evidence suggests that consistently redeploying temporary staff to specific areas reduces burnout and supports patient safety. The reasons why are varied however clear themes include:

  • Familiarity with the environment
  • Staff perceptions of environmental uncertainty
  • Registered nurse (RN) role substitution – namely, that RNs are not substituted for non-registered staff.

For additional information specific to particular care settings e.g. Private Nursing Homes, please see below.

  • Additional Information

    The British Geriatrics Society has published a good practice guide on managing COVID-19 in care homes for older people. It contains prompts to help staff consider the elements that may be of particular challenge in these environments.

    View the Good Practice Guide