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Human factors training seeks to explain and demonstrate the varying interactions between individuals, teams, equipment and environment, and most importantly it provides strategies to change our behaviour so that we are less likely to make errors and harm patients. This training course has been approved by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and delegates may claim a maximum of 6.0 CPD credits for attending the event.

What is Human Factors?

Human Factors encompasses all factors that can influence people and their behaviour. Some common human factors that can increase risk include communication problems, mental state and stress, poor teamwork, lack of planning, loss of situational awareness and process design.

The Harvard Medical Practice Study (1991) revealed that 1 in every 200 patients admitted died as a direct result of medical error. This study provoked similar work in other healthcare systems including the UK where it has been estimated that approximately 40,000 patients die every year as a result of human error. Obviously the most important impact of human error lies with the patients themselves and their immediate family and friends, but there is a cost implication as well: each adverse event leads to an average of 8.5 additional bed days (Charles Vincent ,BMJ [2001]).

It is important that we use the unfortunate event of human error as a learning process to future-proof against such occurrences. Training in Human Factors leads to an understanding of how error occurs and how to avoid it in the future.

High Reliability Organisations (HRO) such as airlines and nuclear power have developed Human Factors training programmes designed to prevent error occurring and thereby improving safety. Interestingly an added advantage of this training is an accompanying improvement in organisational efficiency. The lessons learned from HRO's are eminently transferable to healthcare.

We are offering an external place on the OUH Human Factors course, where you will train alongside an established team. If you are interested in attending as an external delegate, please use the link at the bottom of the page.

Course Content

One day course provides:

•    An introduction and explanation of the language of human factors

•    Demonstration of how the NHS can benefit from the experience of High Reliability Organisations (HROs) in reducing human error by human factors training

•    ‘Hands on’ experience in a simulated clinical environment designed to improve teamwork by optimising communication skills and situation awareness

•    An opportunity to analyse team performance

•    6.0 CPD credits for the full day

Mode of training

The course will be delivered by a combination of methods during the day, short lectures, exercises and simulation. By using the unique facilities of OxSTaR, the delegates will complete carefully designed simulated clinical scenarios which focus on non-technical skills and are recorded to enhance the feedback process.

Suitable for

Consultants, trainees, nurses, and allied health professionals who have an interest in patient safety.


“Excellent, as it highlighted teamwork and human behaviour in a crisis”

“The most useful course I have attended in the last six years”

“Made me reassess my practice, especially with communication”

“Very beneficial in terms of how to prevent human errors and how to manage these difficulties within the NHS”

“I am now much more aware of errors and the need to read back in conversation to reduce risk/harm”

“A necessary course as it raises awareness of errors and how to make communication more effective and safe”

“Absolutely essential to all health care professionals”

Booking a place