Human factors principles aim to understand the ‘fit’ between an employee, their equipment, and the surrounding environment, which can include learning styles, behaviours and values, leadership, teamwork, the design of equipment and processes, communication, and organisational culture. Through a better understanding of these principles, changes can be made that result in a reduction of human error and higher quality care. The Enhancing Generalist Skills Programme actively promotes both a more holistic approach to patient care and an appreciation of the interaction between patients and their environment, and how social and economic factors can influence their health.  

To develop and refine a human factors training program centred around multi-professional and multi- agency communication. There is a fundamental need for our doctors in training to develop the skills to communicate safely as part of a multi-professional team, working in the community with other agencies and understanding the impact of human factors on complex decision making and collaborative working. As part of initial stakeholder analysis and stakeholder interviews, completed in the Midlands, safeguarding for doctors in training was highlighted as a concern. By building in human factors led interventions from the outset and across the system it can help minimise the negative impacts not only on patients but also doctors in training. This is something we would aim to integrate in the Midlands.

Through this work, key stakeholders and doctors in training will gain an understanding of the impact of human factors and its influence in complex decision making involving multiple parties. Stakeholders and doctors in training will gain an understanding of the critical risk areas with regard to the patient journey, for example around communication at discharge and how to mitigate these. By including the work from stakeholder interviews and bringing this into the stakeholder workshops, we have the opportunity to bring systems thinking and team work to light. Stakeholders will gain an understanding of the impact of human factors on multi-professional working and how best to integrate human factors into the development of this programme rather than consider it as an afterthought.