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NHS course on patient safety - Trainers' Manual
NHS course on patient safety - Coursebook for trainees

Commissioned by the NHS, these books were designed to deliver Human Factors Training in NHS hospitals and other healthcare settings to improve patient safety. They are written primarily for workers in the health services industry, particularly the NHS, and explore the limitations of human cognition and the everyday factors governing the interactions between real people in complex organisations. They consider the psychological factors that influence communication and task performance, which can lead to human errors that result in injury or death to patients. They cover factors specific to hospitals that allow such errors to occur, such as problems inherent in their hierarchical structure. 

Using real-life case studies and incidents, they distil key messages from the existing body of evidence and give practical insights about safety-critical issues. Topics include cognitive processing, decision-making, situation awareness, personality types, communication, teams and leaders, and stress, fatigue and burnout among healthcare personnel. 

Both books are generously illustrated and work as standalone reading texts.The Manual is designed for trainer's to successfully deliver a course to clinicians, with detailed background information and context. The Handbook covers all the same topics but is shorter and an easier read.

Trainer's Manual ISBN 978-1909675-001 | 187 Pages | Large Format Paperback RRP £19.99

Course Handbook ISBN 978-1909675-018 | 130 Pages | Large Format Paperback RRP £14.99

These titles are reduced during the current health crisis. Our colleagues, the CHFG, have issued an important  COVID CHECKLIST for healthcare professionals, which you can ACCESS HERE: 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Patrick Mitchell, Guy Hirst, Clive Bloxham, Phil Laws, Emma Nunez, Nancy Redfern, Gavin Thoms

"Our experience delivering and developing a course on human factors for healthcare workers highlights the handling of evidence rather than the evidence itself as a major difference from other industries. Showing the evidence and leaving staff to draw their own conclusions is more effective than giving unsupported recommendations, especially with opinion leaders."

Patrick Mitchell, main author of the NHS Safer Care Human Factors course

The Editor of these books PATRICK MITCHELL (pictured)  is a consultant Neurosurgeon and Senior Lecturer with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. His research interests relate to decision-making and surgical safety. To date, he has 119 publications and nearly 3300 citations to his name, and is the author of Null Seeking Trials: Research Methods for Surgery and Social Science.

GUY HIRST was one of the pioneers of Human Factors Training in the airline culture. He was a pilot with British Airways from 1972 until 2006 and has been writing and presenting courses in healthcare since 2001 through organisations such as Attainability. He is involved in research into healthcare safety  issues. He appeared on the BBC Horizon programme How to Avoid Making Mistakes in Surgery in 2013 to discuss the application of aviation checklists for maintaining situation awareness in stressful circumstances. When used in healthcare settings, these checklists lead to major reductions in patient deaths and complications. They keep staff on the straight and narrow and help flatten the hierarchy by changing staff into crew and enhancing team-working.

CLIVE BLOXHAM is a consultant pathologist at County Durham and Darlington Hospitals. His interests include cognitive factors in medical practice and how errors occur.


PHIL LAWS is a consultant in intensive care and anaesthesia in Newcastle, and the medical lead for the Advanced Critical Care Practitioner Programme and Outreach. His interests include communication, crisis communication for junior doctors, and mandatory training for critical care staff.

EMMA NUNEZ is a Registered Midwife with a BSc (Hons) in Midwifery Studies and an LLM in Medical Law. With previous roles in risk management/patient safety and quality improvement in both acute and primary care settings, she is the Safer Care North East Programme Manager, and lead in the development of the Regional Human Factors work programme.

NANCY REDFERN is a consultant anaesthetist in Newcastle upon Tyne specialising in obstetric and neuro-anaesthesia. She has an interest in medical education, appraisal and mentorship. 

GAVIN THOMS is a consultant anaesthetist with interests in perioperative and operative safety, and related human and cultural factors. He is joint lead on Project OASIS on surgical safety in South East Asia and led the international Global Oximetry Project for improved anaesthetic safety.

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