• Led by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Run across a range of mental health care pathways at one project site in each of the region’s five mental health trusts.
  • Aims to deliver two key patient safety interventions – prospective hazard analysis (PHA) training and human factors training.
  • Running from early 2014 to mid 2016.

This project is designed to help health care teams identify potential safety issues and redesign care pathways. It aims to improve the safety of mental health care by addressing teamwork and communication issues that can affect the safety and effectiveness of care and patient satisfaction.

It will do this by implementing and evaluating two key interventions:

  • The prospective hazard analysis tool (PHA) – a holistic approach to assessing safety issues in clinical systems before incidents occur.
  • Training in human factors – analysing factors relating to the environment, the organisation and the job itself, as well as characteristics of typical human behaviour that influence the way people behave at work and impact on their health and safety.

The project team will use PHA to identify and systematically address the two questions: ‘What are the potential hazards in our pathway?’ and ‘What are the appropriate changes that we should implement?’.

They will use human factors training to improve communication and teamwork, develop trainers to ensure sustainable change, and help each trust implement service improvement projects, to provide staff with the skills they need to make changes happen.

Taken together, these interventions will help staff gain patient safety skills and enable care teams to understand and solve their own safety issues.

The team will support these techniques with lean thinking tools and plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycles. The programme is targeted at multidisciplinary frontline NHS staff.

Who’s involved?

The project is led by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – a provider of mental health and learning disability services. Partners include University of Hertfordshire and the University of Cambridge Engineering Design Centre’s (EDC) Healthcare Design Group.

The project is also supported by the East of England Strategic Clinical Network, the Eastern Academic Health Science Network, North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.