Thursday, April 19, 2007

Research Centre for NHS Patient Safety and Service Quality

Article at Medical news today on 9 April 2007

Announced on 6 April 2007 the centre will bring together academic and clinical researchers. The £4.5m Research Centre for NHS Patient Safety and Service Quality will be one of two such Centres in the UK, funded by the National Institute for Health Research. It will be based in Imperial College's Biosurgery and Surgical Technology section, at St Mary's Hospital, London.

The Centre will trial new approaches and technologies to reduce human error and improve patient care, for example through the use of pharmacy robots to dispense medication, and the involvement of patients themselves in spotting and anticipating medical errors.

This is a lot of money, and of course has to be potentially a good thing. However, I note it brings academics and clinicians together, with no mention of practical human factors expertise, including that from other industries. The idea of using robots and patients, when little basic human factors work has been done in NHS leads me to be sceptical. Time will tell, and from what I have seen so far of the NHS results will be way off in the future.

Andy Brazier

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