Human Factors training for 3,000 community health and social care staff across the West of England

The West of England AHSN is awarding £65,000 in funding to four community organisations to support the roll-out of Human Factors training for support staff.

Communication and team working are recognised to have significant impact on the quality of safe services for patients. Following the Cavendish Review, the Care Certificate specified standards for support workers (Bands 1 – 4) working in all NHS and social care settings.

Although an appreciation of the principles of Human Factors has been implemented in acute care services in recent years, it has been found that training packages and resources are less applicable to the community health and social care context.

Health Education South West has therefore funded the West of England AHSN to develop an intervention using the SBAR tool (situation, background, assessment, recommendation) to support Human Factors training in patient safety focussing on support works in community settings.

The curriculum for this training was developed by Sirona Care & Health and North Bristol NHS Trust. It is based on how teams communicate and uses communication tools such as SBAR to develop a baseline awareness, which is built upon and embedded during the training using different scenarios. These scenarios were co-designed by the programme lead and service user representative to reflect realistic scenarios that staff might encounter.

To date, 435 staff from community organisations have already received Human Factors training. The West of England AHSN is now providing £65,000 funding to Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Bristol Community Health, Gloucestershire Care Services and North Somerset Community Partnership, which will enable a further 2,500 staff in community settings to receive training.

Train the Trainer

In conjunction with  North Bristol NHS Trust and Sirona Care & Health, we are also training up to 45 facilitators across the region in order to create a faculty with specialist knowledge and experience in Human Factors training for community services.

Organisations that have been successful in their bid for West of England AHSN support are invited to book training dates for facilitators to build the faculty in their organisation skilled in delivering Human Factors training. In order to book you will need a code for access. If you have not received your code, please email


For more information about the Human Factors programme, which is one of our Patient Safety Collaborative’s priority areas, contact Nathalie Delaney at

How can we help you enhance your skills in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement?

The West of England AHSN is conducting a survey amongst health and social care professionals to identify the skills and expertise in our region around Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. And we’re keen to hear from you.

This will help us to better share learning and expertise, and tailor our approach so it meets the healthcare community’s ongoing needs to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements in patient care.

We’re developing our work alongside ‘Q’, an initiative led by the Health Foundation, supported and co-funded by NHS England, and designed to connect people skilled in improvement across the UK.

If you are interested, experienced or trained in Safety or Quality Improvement work, then we would like to invite you to complete this short survey, which should take between five and ten minutes to complete.

This survey is being managed by the West of England AHSN in partnership with The Health Foundation.

For further information, contact:

Kevin Hunter, Patient Safety Programme Manager
0117 900 2413

Nurturing a network of Improvement Coaches

The West of England Academy now underpins all the learning and development activities we organise and deliver and aims to continually increase the number of healthcare professionals across the region with the skills and knowledge to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements in patient care. As part of this, we are setting up and training a new network of Improvement Coaches.

These Improvement Coaches will be staff from our member organisations who can support colleagues to plan and deliver improvement projects that will make a real and positive difference to patient safety and care.

We are inviting Chief Executive Officers from each organisation to select up to three members of their staff to take on this role. Nominations are required by 8 January 2016.

The ideal Improvement Coach will have experience of using basic improvement tools in the planning, testing and implementation of a change that has led to a measurable improvement in their organisation. They will be in a position of influence within the organisation and, as enthusiasts for improvement, they will relish the opportunity to learn how to coach others.

The induction training will consist of three offsite training days and two 90-minute webinars. Further WebEx and face-to-face training will be provided through an optional rolling training programme to continually build capability within a network of peers who will be encouraged to share and learn from one another.

For those who miss out in this first wave, there will be further opportunities as more cohorts are established later in 2016 and 2017.

The longer term ambition is to build a network of Improvement Coaches within each health community to support delivery of the Five Year Forward Plan, by offering each other peer support, accessing advanced master classes and sharing knowledge and learning.

At the same time, the West of England Academy will continue to encourage and support all staff keen to use improvement tools and techniques to deliver better care for their by providing online access to tools and templates.

If you wish to apply to be an Improvement Coach, please speak to your Chief Executive for an application form. You’ll also need to get executive sponsorship to support your application.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 8 January 2016.

For more information contact:

David Evans, QI Programme Manager
0117 900 2249