The Sheffield Caseload Classification Tool: testing its inter-rater reliability

Helen Chapman, Rebekah Matthews, Lisa J. Farndon, John Stephenson, Sally Fowler-Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Community nursing caseloads are vast, with differing complexities. The Sheffield Caseload Classification Tool (SCCT) was co-produced with community nurses and nurse managers to help assign patients on a community caseload according to nursing need and complexity of care. The tool comprises 12 packages of care and three complexities. The present study aimed to test the inter-rater reliability of the tool. This was a table top validation exercise conducted in one city in South Yorkshire. A purposive sample of six community nurses assessed 69 case studies using the tool and assigned a package of care and complexity of need to each. These were compared with pre-determined answers. Cronbach’s alpha for the care
package was 0.979, indicating very good reliability, with individual nurse reliability values also being high. Fleiss’s kappa coefficient for the care packages was 0.771, indicating substantial agreement among nurses; it was 0.423 for complexity ratings, indicating moderate agreement. The SCCT can reliably assign patients to the appropriate skilled nurse and care package. It helps prioritise and plan a community nursing caseload, ensuring efficient use of staff time to deliver appropriate care to patients with differing needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number8
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2019


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