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Vision and aims

The programme seeks to establish the East Midlands as a ‘Centre for Expertise in Human Factors’, through a combination of focussed education and workforce development projects.


Our work will ensure that we are helping to:

  • create a knowledge base and raising awareness of Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • develop a career pathway for HFE Professionals in healthcare
  • create a sustainable pool of HFE expertise capable of implementing HFE based solutions to critical patient safety issues, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

We propose two separate work streams, and more information about them can be found below:

  • ‘Developing Bespoke Human Factors & Ergonomics (HFE) solutions for the NHS’.
  • 'Awareness to Expert - Developing HUman Factors capability in the NHS'.

How will we achieve these aims?

In order to achieve these aims, Health Education England proposes the two work streams mentioned above. They are designed to complement each other, and to have maximum impact in establishing the ‘Centre of Excellence’ within the East Midlands. This work will be underpinned by formal collaborations with the East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative, Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN), Health Education England’s ‘Learning To Be Safer’ group and other patient safety and quality improvement initiatives.

Awareness-to-Expert – Developing Human Factors capability in the NHS

This work stream aims to develop HFE practice and principles through a combination of education and training (in both the short and longer term) with:

  • a series of taster workshops to raise awareness about the importance of HFE and how it can be applied practically to resolve problems that prevent the delivery of efficient, high quality and safe care
  • the development of an education pathway, starting with awareness raising in the first instance (see above), to the progression through to more advanced qualifications (PGCert, MSc, PhD). Upon completion of the PGCert, the newly qualified staff will help in raising further awareness of HFE within their Trusts, ensuring a critical mass of HFE trained staff is create and subsequently sustained.

Fellowships to include Postgraduate HFE education (60 credits) leading to PGCert/ MSc/ PhD, with suggested modules as follows:

  • Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics: physical, cognitive and organisational (15 credits).
  • Human Function: anthropometry and postural analysis (15 credits).
  • Organisational Systems (15 credits).
  • Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety with a mini-project to support analysis of Trust specific HFE issue/problem (15 credits).

Developing Bespoke Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) solutions for the NHS

There is an increase in the need to identify patient safety related issues that can benefit from a Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE)  intervention, potentially improving outcomes at both the system and individual level.

Health Education England seeks to work in collaboration with NHS staff and Human Factors experts in order formulate pilot projects. These projects will aim to identify a critical patient safety related issue, implement an appropriate HFE solution, and evaluate its impact within the Trust.

Intelligence on the key healthcare challenges and data will inform the development of suitable HFE interventions and project evaluation, and it is anticipated that these project will demonstrate the value of HFE in addressing patient safety issues, support education programmes and enable system wide learning.

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