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Loughborough University to deliver course to NHS professionals in a bid to improve patient safety

Loughborough University is collaborating with NHS England to deliver learning to hundreds of healthcare professionals in a bid to improve patient safety.

Human factors and ergonomics experts in the School of Design and Creative Arts will deliver Levels 3 and 4 of the NHS Patient Safety Syllabus and Curriculum after winning a competitive tender process.

Under the leadership of Dr Mike Fray, supported by Professor Sue Hignett and Professor Thomas Jun, the Loughborough University team will craft and deliver educational content to 820 patient safety specialists across various NHS Trusts in England from 2023 to 2024.

The NHS predict that getting patient safety right could save almost 1,000 extra lives and £100 million in care costs each year from 2023/24.

In 2021, the NHS Patient Safety Syllabus was created by drawing upon best practice from a number of safety-critical industries. It has as a core aim of changing how staff think about improving patient safety. The key to this is switching the focus to proactive prevention of safety incidents, and away from the current largely retrospective analyses.

Dr Fray believes Loughborough University’s world-leading reputation in the delivery of human factors and ergonomics education will help the NHS achieve its goals.

The Loughborough-developed programme will cover diverse topics from Levels 3 and 4 of the syllabus, such as unpacking the system’s issues; managing patient safety risks; understanding cultural, legal, and regulatory factors; and designing solutions.

Dr Fray said: “No healthcare worker goes to work thinking they will do harm, but the systems, processes and complexity of the work can lead to errors, omissions, or reductions in quality of care.  “With this new course we will be able to support patient safety specialists in each Trust to lead safety improvement work and provide safety science expertise to their organisations so that patients across the NHS can benefit.”

Aidan Fowler, National Director of Patient Safety said: ‘’Training and education is at the centre of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy so that we can empower people with the latest skills and knowledge in patient safety science.

“The launch of this training for our patient safety specialists is the latest development in this work, using the syllabus created with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and adding to the training already available to all staff in the NHS.”

Further details on the NHS Patient Safety Syllabus and Curriculum can be found on the NHS website.

Information on other short courses Loughborough University provides to patient safety professionals can be found on the dedicated course webpage.