Blog

What is Systems Thinking?

Whilst the terms “system” or “systems” in everyday language have often come to mean something to do with digital technology, they are used in a much wider context in HFE.

The 3 C’s of Civility

When I was asked to do a talk on the Civility Saves Lives project a couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed to do some more research on the wider topic of civility: what it is, and how it can be useful

Feedback and how to give it effectively

Effective feedback can have a powerful, positive and lasting effect. As a junior co-pilot in the 70’s, I was given some feedback by the crew administrator when I arrived for a flight. He interrupted his chat to another pilot and greeted me with a smile and the comment “Ah, Denis, you are very well turned

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Under Pressure

What do we mean when we say effective leadership?
Is it being able to drag your team over the finish line, no matter what?

Insights on Decision Making from a national champion

The key to successful competitive cross-country gliding is decision making. Which route to take through the sky, which thermal (a column of rising air) to circle in, which one to reject. It was day 4 of the competition with 635 km already flown over the first 3 days, and I was in the lead. The

Psychological Safety – why all the fuss?

I recently read a provocative tweet commenting on Google’s Aristotle Project – an exhaustive study over 2 years documenting the themes among their highest performing teams.

Human Factors – the Fundamentals of Human Capabilities

Sir David Attenborough recently remarked at a UN meeting that no one ever did anything for the environment before first caring about it. This care and concern required a certain level of understanding, spawned from an initial interest in the natural world. I think this point is hugely important in any context – if we

Patient Safety & Performance Science within Maternity Care

In November 2015 the government announced an ambitious target to halve the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries by 2030, and a tremendous amount of work has happened in the last 3 years in working towards that.

Is Awareness Enough?

Much of the Human Factors Training that occurs across the NHS would fall under the banner of ‘raising awareness’, as it is absolutely vital as nothing changes or improves without awareness. So can we be ‘aware’ enough of how errors occur in order to prevent us making such errors? I would like to hope that

The problem with the ‘bad apple’ fallacy

‘When faced with a human error problem you may be tempted to ask ‘Why didn’t they watch out better? How could they not have noticed?’ You think you can solve your human error problem by telling people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure. They are all

Why “Send in the Army” might not be the best way to ‘fix’ the NHS

Many of you may have read the recent article citing Matt Hancock’s proposals to bring in the army to boost leadership skills; Does any of this sound familiar? Until recently the rhetoric was very much that healthcare should see civil aviation as the exemplar for safety — certainly the previous Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was keen to

Medled appoints Dr Patrick Waterson as Human Factors specialist

Medled, a specialist provider of High Performance Roadmaps,™ targeted training and consultancy that enhances the performance of people, teams and systems in the UK healthcare industry has appointed Dr Patrick Waterson PhD, CErgHf, CPsychol from Loughborough University as a Non-Executive Director. An experienced Chartered Ergonomist, Chartered Psychologist and lecturer in Human Factors, Patrick will support

Where are your ‘Quick Wins’?

Modern healthcare is such a complex challenge, with so many overlapping systems — many of which we can’t control. Developing fit for purpose solutions to these challenges will be generally be a long game and, as Rene Amalberti (global Safety Expert and co-author of Safer Healthcare — Strategies for the Real World) recently put it, ‘a moving target’. With