The registered manager will take appropriate steps to ensure that, at all times, there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced persons employed within the service to ensure it can meet the care and support needs of people using the service, and therefore meet the Care Quality Commission’s Fundamental Standards.

Staffing levels are determined following a needs analysis and risk assessment and agreement with the local authority over specific service user needs and to keep them safe at all times. This process is subject to regular monitoring and review to ensure the effective maintenance of staffing levels and consistency of care.

In determining the number of staff and range of skills required to meet the needs of people using the service, the different levels of skills and competence required to meet those needs, the registered professional and support workers needed, supervision needs and leadership requirements need to be considered. Staffing levels and skill mix must be reviewed continuously and adapted to respond to the changing needs and circumstances of service users.

In an emergency there must be sufficient and suitable staff available to be deployed to cover both the emergency and the routine work of the service.

This includes ensuring that staff are familiar with the specific needs of the service user.

The registered manager undertakes specifically to change a support worker in one or more of the following situations:

  • the worker is sick or on holiday;
  • the worker is undertaking training;
  • the worker ceases to be employed by the service;
  • the service requirements change to an extent that the worker lacks the necessary skills, physical capacity or specialist training to continue to provide a service;
  • there is a requirement for additional hours or changed times of services which the worker cannot fulfil;
  • the service user makes a legitimate request for a change of worker;
  • a non-professional relationship has developed between the worker and the service user;
  • the work situation has become so stressful for a worker that they need relief;
  • the worker is suffering abuse or discrimination.

It is the intention of the provider to ensure all adults who use the service receive the highest level of care from competent, caring staff. The service recognises that in order to deliver the highest standard of care, support staff must feel adequately supported within their role and be able to access advice and support quickly and at all times (see also On-Call Rota).

Where appropriate, staff must be supervised until they can demonstrate required / acceptable levels of competence to carry out their role unsupervised (see Supervision).