Skill Mix

COVID-19 SURGE CAPACITY – SKILL MIX

During the surge period, optimum staffing levels and skill mix as outlined in Delivering Care may be be difficult to sustain.

Under these conditions, nursing or midwifery staff need to consider how the ‘new’ team’ is managed, using a more task based approach based on professional judgement to maximise team members’ knowledge and skills. It should be recognised however, that whilst there may be an element of task orientated care required during this time of pandemic arrangements for COVID-19 surge in service demand, it is important that each individual being cared for has a regular holistic review by the registered nurse or midwife delegating the tasks or duties.

The ‘new team’ will potentially include members from the following groups:

  • Registered nurses/midwives with current knowledge, skills and experience in the clinical area
  • Registered nurses/midwives with limited knowledge and skills in the clinical area, including nurses and midwives currently in senior non-patient facing roles nursing and midwifery
  • Nurses and midwives currently on the temporary register established under emergency legislation by the NMC for COVID-19
  • Designated Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who may be required to reskill in particular areas of practice
  • Student nurses and midwives at various stages of their development
  • Non-registered staff – for example nursing assistants, senior nursing assistants, maternity support workers and volunteers, recognising the relevant knowledge skills and experience of those familiar with particular settings.

Any one shift may contain a range of these individuals and so it may be helpful for staff to self-identify within a broadly defined outline of groups that supports rapid understanding of where their knowledge and skills may lie, and therefore ability to complete delegated tasks and duties effectively.

In these unprecedented times different ways of working will be required to ensure as many people as possible can deliver the care that is needed in a way that is safe and effective to meet demand. This may lead to concerns about both the professional implications and practicalities of working in teams where staff are unfamiliar with the processes and environment – for further information please read the Professional Regulation During COVID-19 section.

As a nurse or midwife you may be stepping forward to lead and rise to the challenge by supporting the delivery of care, as part of a multidisciplinary team though bringing your individual skill set within the limits of your competence.

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


  • Additional Information

    Similar guidance applies to that for the trust environments, with the exception of the constitution of the members of the ‘new’ team, which may look different in Private Nursing Homes (PNHs):

    The ‘new team’ may include members from the following groups:

    • Registered nurses/midwives with current knowledge, skills and experience in the PNH setting
    • Registered nurses/midwives with limited knowledge and skills in PNH care, including nurses and midwives currently in senior non-patient facing roles
    • Nurses and midwives currently on the temporary register established under emergency legislation by the NMC for COVID-19
    • Designated Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who will be required to reskill in particular areas of practice
    • Non-registered staff – for example healthcare support staff and volunteers, recognising the relevant knowledge skills and experience of those familiar with particular settings
    • A small number of PNHs have student nurses assigned to them.

     

    Similar guidance applies to that for the trust environments, with the exception of the constitution of the members of the ‘new’ team, which may look different in Private Nursing Homes (PNHs):

    The ‘new team’ may include members from the following groups:

    • Registered nurses/midwives with current knowledge, skills and experience in the PNH setting
    • Registered nurses/midwives with limited knowledge and skills in PNH care, including nurses and midwives currently in senior non-patient facing roles
    • Nurses and midwives currently on the temporary register established under emergency legislation by the NMC for COVID-19
    • Designated Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who will be required to reskill in particular areas of practice
    • Non-registered staff – for example healthcare support staff and volunteers, recognising the relevant knowledge skills and experience of those familiar with particular settings
    • A small number of PNHs have student nurses assigned to them.

     

    In addition, PNHs may have additional sessional support from HSC Trust nursing teams such as: Infection Prevention and Control, Acute Care At Home and ‘REACH’.