Tuesday, 24 July 2012


I was reading the Residential Care Association’s 1980 publication Staffing Ratios in Residential Establishments and was reminded of the truism that: If you divide resident need by staff availability you can arrive at the number of staff required.

The challenge being to quantify both the numerator and denominator. I then embarked on a personal mind search to list the items of resident need and staff availability required to complete the calculation. It is extensive with some items measureable and other less so. There is little value in me sharing the list as it will vary from home to home. It is also an exercise that should be undertaken with residents and staff together. Checklists are useful but no substitute for participation and ownership in something so important. Staff sufficiency is the foundation stone of residential care with their capability, skills and confidence making up all the building blocks.

What this brought home to me is that a rota is a lot more than ensuring sufficient cover by documenting who is on and off duty. A rota is in fact a workforce plan or even a strategy! Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. Very true. Rotas shouldn't just be a quantitative assessment of how many physical bodies are in a building at one time etc. Every home/institution is different and so is every vulnerable person or group.