Care hours per patient day (CHPPD) data

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Rolling data updated monthly, to show staffing levels in relation to patient numbers on an inpatient ward.

CHPPD data gives ward managers, nurse leaders and hospital chiefs a picture of how staff are deployed and how productively. They can compare a ward’s CHPPD figure with that of other wards in the hospital, or with similar wards in other hospitals. 

If they find wide variation between similar wards, they may investigate to make sure the right staff are being used in the right way in the right numbers. CHPPD figures can be added together for groups of wards or for an entire hospital to make further comparisons. 

How it's calculated

Every month, the hours worked during day shifts and night shifts by registered nurses and midwives and by healthcare assistants are added together.

Each day, the number of patients occupying beds at midnight is recorded. These figures are added up for the whole month and divided by the number of days in the month to calculate a daily average.

Then the figure for total hours worked is divided by the daily average number of patients to produce the rate of care hours per patient day. For example:

  • total day hours worked by registered nurses for the month = 1,000
  • total day hours worked by healthcare assistants for the month = 400
  • total night hours worked by registered nurses for the month = 1,000
  • total night hours worked by healthcare assistants for the month = 300
  • total hours worked for the month = 2,700 
  • average number of patients at midnight during the month = 300
  • CHPPD rate: 2,700 divided by 300 = 9.0

What this tells us

CHPPD includes total staff time spent on direct patient care but also on activities such as preparing medicines, updating patient records and sharing care information with other staff and departments. It covers both temporary and permanent care staff but excludes student nurses and student midwives and staff working across more than one ward. CHPPD relates only to hospital wards where patients stay overnight. 

By itself, CHPPD does not reflect the total amount of care provided on a ward nor does it directly show whether care is safe, effective or responsive. It should therefore be considered alongside measures of quality and safety. 

CHPPD is calculated using information that every hospital records in monthly ‘safe staffing' reports.

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