Patient Safety First launches ‘Human Factors’ Focus Week

Patient Safety First is urging trusts and healthcare professionals to understand the impact of human factors on healthcare.

As part of its campaign to help trusts eliminate avoidable death and avoidable harm to patients, Patient Safety First is launching, on 1st February, a ‘Human factors’ focus week. During the week Patient Safety First will be hosting online sessions on different human factors themes and encouraging staff and managers to take one new ‘human factors’ step.

‘Human factors’ issues apply to individuals, teams and organisations; they might be environmental, organisational or job factors, or the individual characteristics that influence behaviour at work. By better understanding the impact of human factors in healthcare, trusts and staff can take one new step in putting patient safety first.

Martin Bromiley, Founder of the Clinical Human Factors Group and core team member of Patient Safety First says: "Clinicians and management alike should never underestimate the impact of human factors in healthcare. To develop a safety culture, trust leaders and managers need to build an organisation-wide knowledge of human factors and how it relates to patient safety, and individuals and teams can use human factors knowledge to make their activities safer. This would go a long way towards creating an environment where staff can feel empowered to challenge observed omissions in care or unsafe practice.”

The ‘Human factors’ focus week launches on Monday 1st February with an introduction to what human factors is and how it applies to healthcare. Different human factor themes are explored in four further sessions during the week.

To find out more including a ‘How to’ guide on human factors in healthcare and to register for any or all of the online sessions go to

The sessions include:

· An introduction to human factors, Monday 1st February (10:30-11:30), hosted by Ken Catchpole (Leverhulme Research Fellow, QRST Unit, University of Oxford) and Melinda Lyons (Human factors lead, National Patient Safety Agency)

· Personal skills associated with human factors – lessons from the aviation industry, Tuesday 2nd February (08:30-09:30), hosted by Martin Bromiley (Founder, Clinical Human Factors Group)

· Human factors in perioperative care, Wednesday 3rd February (08:30-09:30), hosted by Jane Reid (Perioperative care intervention lead) and Diane Gilmour (President of the Association for Perioperative Practice)

· Truth and reconciliation following serious harm, Thursday 4th February (10:30-11:30), hosted by Martin Bromiley, Clare Bowen, Murray Anderson-Wallace and Sarah Garrett

· Human factors – design/ergonomics, Friday 5th February (09:30-10:30), hosted by Melinda Lyons.

The ‘Human factors’ focus week is one of four dedicated focus weeks that Patient Safety First is holding to help trusts eliminate avoidable death and harm to patients. The other weeks planned are:

· 1st March – Focus on Ventilator care bundles: stories of improvement

· 8th March – Focus on Insulin: ‘Testing a new care bundle for Insulin prescribing’.

For more information please visit

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