Respiratory syncytial virus 2021 preparedness: Children’s safer nurse staffing framework for inpatient care in acute hospitals

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This guidance has been developed to support the redeployment planning processes to respond to the anticipated earlier and greater than usual increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory illnesses in children, which could increase pressure on paediatric critical and inpatient care.


It includes example phased staffing plans to increase the clinical workforce to meet staffing requirements at times of exceptional demand where mutual clinical aid options including system working have been exhausted being cognisant of the impact deployment decisions have on other services.

The guidance emphasises a series of professional principles and advocates a focus on;

  • Multi-professional team working
  • Health and well-being
  • Skills assessment and training
  • Induction and Clinical Supervision
  • Safety and governance
  • Assessment of the impact on other associated services

A series of tools for local use are offered in the Appendices.

This guidance was developed in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Health Education England as well as consulting with our stakeholders and using learning from the COVID-19 pandemic.