Staff numbers


Registered User
Nov 23, 2006
Can anyone tell me the legal requirement for the numbers of staff who should be on duty, at night, in an EMI unit with 32 residents.? I was under the impression it is 1 qualified nurse and two carers.

The EMI home where my mum is, is often 'under staffed' at night, and I think also at times during the day shift.



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire

I would also like an answer to this.

I believe that there should be 2 senior nursing staff on at all times, but I don't know if this applies to nights.



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
I'm not sure about legal requirements, or if there are any.

John's EMI unit is divided into two sections, one of 15 and one of 12. There is always a qualified nurse in each section plus one carer to 4 residents during the day.

At night one nurse covers both sections, with another on call. There are two carers per section.

This is company policy. They are occasionally a carer down if someone rings in sick. They always use agency cover in the mornings, when residents have to be washed and dressed, but sometimes they just stay one down in the afternoons, but borrow from another floor at mealtime.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Yes, I guess all homes are different.

There are approx 32 residents on the EMI wing in Lionels home.
Always two senior staff and 7 carers per daytime shift.

Nights they have '3 active carers' and always one senior carer 'sleeping in'. Senior on call, otherwise sleeps upstairs.
Obviously they have to call agency carers in from time to time.
Funnily enough we usually get the same girls - even from the agency, so quite a good continuation.

I have stayed overnight in Lionels room. It was interesting to observe the workings of the home.


Registered User
Feb 3, 2006
This is something I would like to know as last weekend in Mum's e.m.i care home there were 27 residents two carers and 1 senior member of staff.
I was not happy and am in the process of writing a letter of complaint to the home, the only thing that worries me is if I complain to the manager about it would they treat Mum any different !!!!

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Kazlou, if you have concerns you must raise them and there should be no repercussions on your mum. I have had to raise a number of concerns with mum's home and I must say that on all occasions I was made to feel that they were glad I had raised the issues, and I never felt any reason to think that mum might suffer in any way.

Mum is not in an EMI unit, there are 23 residents, and 2 night carers, both on duty. This seems about the norm for a non-EMI unit. Another home of the same type and size nearby has only 1 active and 1 sleeping on night duty, I can't see how they manage with that. In mum's home the night staff have the responsibility for sorting laundry to be sent to residents next day, so they are not "on the floor" all the time. Mum is a night wanderer and they do have difficulty in dealing with her, and I am waiting for he day when they say they cannot cope with her. Would she then qualify for nursing care? How much is that? Is there a unit in my area that could accommodate her? How would I find out? And what do I do if there isn't such a unit? I dread to think of it, it has taken mum a full year to get used to the care home, a full year! I don't want to go through another year of her telling me it is dreadful, she wants to leave, the care staff are cruel to her, the food is dire, the other residents are mean to her.

Any reassurance gratefully received, probably not the right post.



Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
National Minimum Standards: Care homes for older people


The link below takes you to the Dept of Health website: publications, policy and guidance section:

If you click on “Download National Minimum Standards: Care homes for older people 3rd rev ed (ISBN 011 322607 1) it opens a 101-paged .pdf file for your bedtime reading! (Section 6 Staffing is on page 39 of 101)

I just phoned the TSO and was told that the latest version was dated 1 April 2003 (April Fool’s Day, by pure coincidence, of course!) and the nearest online version I could find shows a date of Feb. 2003, so not far out.

(If it has since been revised again, then The Stationery Office (TSO) doesn’t know about it, and nor does the DoH website.)

It will give you a guide as to how to ask the questions of your particular EMI unit.

If you are bored one rainy day, it makes very interesting reading – fictional, in parts of our experience, and factual in others.

Happy reading!

Jay G


Registered User
Nov 26, 2006
There is no set ratio for staffing levels in care homes I’m afraid, regardless of whether it is a residential, nursing or dementia care unit, but 3/32 seems downright negligent. This is something I have torn my hair out over for some time and have never really got anywhere with, despite voicing concerns with CSCI.

All I can suggest you do is take this up with CSCI – even if it means doing so several times.


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
Charlyparly said:
There is no set ratio for staffing levels in care homes I’m afraid, regardless of whether it is a residential, nursing or dementia care unit, but 3/32 seems downright negligent.
This applies also in Australia it's up to the managers discretion. Mum was in a secure dementia specific hostel there were four wings 15 residents in each....three wings had one carer and the fourth two carers. A RN was on duty M-F 9-5pm. Meal breaks with the exception of the wing with the two carers were not covered. Night Shift there were two carers only for the whole facility. Wilful neglect by management!


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
The reason the post was deleted is that it was posted twice.
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