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Meet the team: #LetsGetTesting

This project brings together the vast topic of human factors and QI methodology into the working environment. This will be achieved by developing a practical application to “test of ideas” in an accessible way. Staff will then use their time more effectively when solving their system problems or introducing new processes……not just more training.

Gloucestershire Hospitals have been working over the last 3 years to establish the Gloucestershire Safety & Quality Improvement Academy (GSQIA) to increase the capability and capacity of staff to carry out Quality Improvement Projects. This is part of a wider aim to balance the use of proactive and reactive safety methodologies across the Trust. As the work around Quality Improvement progresses, the next stage of development is Human Factors and the need to, where ever possible, error proof the everyday processes that require Human interaction. It has been the ambition of the Academy to develop training around HF awareness as well as practical tools which could be used to help ‘error proof’ systems. It is in the vein that this project is specifically proposed to link the use of simulation techniques to developing changes identified by Quality Improvement projects and incident investigations with the aim of minimising the likelihood of human error.


  • To test the use of simulation as a method of iteratively testing possible change ideas adopting the philosophy of PDSA cycles;

  • To develop the use of simulation to test revised/ new processes or pathways prior to implementation with the ultimate aim of implementing processes that minimise the risk of human error and maximise efficiency, functionality, patient safety & experience;

  • To produce a ‘simulation toolkit’, which can enable staff to use simulation as part of the PDSA process of future QI projects.


    Contribution to patient safety & outcome

  • Whilst the tangible outcome of this project is the production of a ‘simulation toolkit’ which can be applied in future PDSA testing, the ultimate aim of its application is to produce processes that minimise the risk of human error and maximise patient safety & experience; this will be achieved by enabling changes to be tested and developed in an iterative, low risk fashion with the aim of using simulation to reduce the impact of human factors in processes prior to implementation.


    Funding requirements 

    The funding available through the Q Exchange would enable a part time Band 6 nurse or AHP to be employed temporarily to deliver this project. Part of the funding would also be used for the post holder to undergo and subsequently carry out HF training which would ensure the sustainability of the toolkit and wider HF approach after the secondment into the proposed temporary post finishes.


    Evaluation of Impact

    The success of the project will be measured in the following ways:

  • Feedback from staff using the simulation toolkit and its perceived usefulness;

  • Improvement in the outcomes of the processes that the Simulation toolkit is applied to;

  •  The presence of a ‘Simulation Toolkit’ that is available through the Academy at the conclusion of the project for continued use and an associated training package.



    Localised testing of the toolkit will be carried out as part of the initial development using the Q Exchange funding. Once developed, the toolkit will be made available to staff across the Trust using the already established Academy infrastructure which provides education, technical help and coaching support. Using the Q Network the toolkit can then be further sharing nationally enabling other Trusts to locally adapt and implement a similar approach.

  • #LetsGetTesting

How you can contribute

  • Human factors frameworks
  • Examples from other industries
  • Simulation experience
  • Critical appraisal/opinions


  1. I think this is a great idea and builds on your already impressive work in Gloucester Hospitals FT. I would be interested in seeing how we can share your learning in the out of hospital setting, particularly primary care. Good luck with your proposal.

  2. Hello Andrew

    Nothing specific in terms of a toolkit but as part of our maternity workstream I am working with the Patient Safety Academy (PSA) at Oxford UH NHS FT to user test a guideline with senior clinicians  working through it with a few clinical scenarios to try to understand the potential difficulties and make it simpler.

    I will ask the PSA  if they have something to share with you after the BH weekend and get back to you Andrew.

    Thanks Eileen

  3. Hello

    This is interesting work . My question is would this toolkit be useful for user testing guidelines before they are circulated to staff as we know that uptake of guidelines can be patchy due to staff difficulties in accessing them and following them ?

    1. Hi

      Yes our goal is to develop a practical tool to test before you launch anything!  Are you aware of anything similar?



  4. Hi

    This sounds really exciting



    1. Thanks Nikki we just want ro get going with the development

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