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at Coventry University ISSUE 1 2009

building a healthy future

How the new HDTI building is helping to shape
the future of healthcare

A welcome intervention
How research is developing successful
health interventions

Risky Business
Professor Brian Toft explains how
he’s creating investigative students

4 Health News
 Read about the latest developments in
health at Coventry

6 Course News
to the first edition the University Hospitals Coventry and Find out more about online courses and
of Health – the new Warwickshire (UHCW) annual awards. a new professional doctorate
magazine aimed at It recognised the work our midwifery
showcasing Coventry staff did with the maternity unit UHCW, 8 Building a healthy future
University’s positive Coventry NHS and Mamta to improve How the new HDTI building is helping to
contribution to the community midwifery practice and shape the future of healthcare
organistion and reduce infant mortality in two wards
delivery of healthcare in Coventry. 10 A welcome intervention
in the UK and globally. Our partnerships are a key feature How research is developing successful
Inside you’ll find of our work and extend to service health interventions
articles and interviews that demonstrate users, NHS organisations, social care,
our engagement with the health agenda the independent and charitable sectors 12 A healthy choice
and reference points for you to contact us and other educational institutions in the How Coventry is responding to the choice
for more information. UK and overseas. Dr Guy Daly’s article on and personalisation agenda
You might be surprised by the breadth Choice, Personalisation and Control for
of work undertaken at Coventry, which Users in Health and Social Care on page 14 Risky Business
includes our applied research with a 12 demonstrates the need for this joined   Professor Brian Toft explains how he’s
range of UK and international partners, up working. creating investigative students
consultancy, development of spin out These partnerships are helping fuel
companies, short courses, CDP courses the courses and training we provide. As
and the initial education and training of Lord Darzi’s review stressed recently –
13 health and social care professions. the development of the current healthcare
Health permeates all parts of the workforce is important, as the majority CONTACT US
University; from the Faculty of Health of them will be responsible for the
and Life Sciences (HLS) where we are healthcare provision of the future. If you would like to find out more about any
developing the future and current To ensure smooth communication of the articles within this issue, if you have
healthcare workforce to the School of Art between the University and healthcare a general enquiry about applied research,
and Design who are designing facilities organisations looking to develop their or to subscribe to future issues of Health,
for children with autism. existing workforce, we have appointed please contact:
It reaches into the Faculty of Natalie Mills to be a dedicated point
Engineering and Computing who are of contact for Continuing Professional Gail Williams, Marketing Admissions and
launching a new course for Clinical Development (CPD) in health.You can Recruitment Manager, Faculty of Health and
Bioengineers and into the Health Design Contact Natalie on n.mills@coventry. Life Sciences
and Technology Institute who are working or visit our dedicated website
with SMEs to explore the role of assistive on Telephone: + 44 (0) 2476 795983
technologies in independent living. I hope you find Health interesting Email:
Our primary goal is to improve patient and a reflection of the breadth, vibrancy Website:
care and the delivery of services. We are and creativity of the work that is
achieving this through our research – undertaken at Coventry University around Credits:
a proportion of which was recently the health agenda. Managing Editor: Gail Williams
recognised as world-class in the Please get in touch with your Edited by: Cheryl Liddle
Research Assessment Exercise 2008 – comments and suggestions for items you Designed by: Kraken Creative
through evaluation and by working with would like us to cover in future issues by Printed by Emmersons
local/regional healthcare providers. emailing
One local partnership project recently This publication is available in other formats
won an Oscar for Outstanding Service at Dr Linda Merriman on request. Please contact Marketing and
Dean of the Faculty of Health Communications on +44 (0) 24 7688 8352
and Life Sciences (HLS)
2 3

Mobile working strategy wins award Free Interprofessional Learning Resources

he development and pilot of innovative mobile working Kevin Farquharson receives his prize he Centre for Interprofessional e-Learning (CIPeL), All of the centre’s resources are included in an online
strategies for social workers earned one Coventry which is a Centre of Excellence for Teaching and database called the CIPeL @ CURVE repository system,
student the 2008 NHS Heart of England Foundation Learning, has spent four years developing a range of which was launched in November 2007 and now has over
Trust Prize. learning resources for educationalists and healthcare 70 registered users.
The annual prize is awarded for innovation in the field professionals, across the UK and internationally, that CIPeL encourages the use of these e-resources by other
of healthcare, and Social Work student Kevin Farquharson are interested in promoting interprofessional working. educationalists and those in practice. In return the centre
demonstrated that with the work he has been doing with The Learning resources currently available range from only requires feedback on how the resources have been
Warwickshire County Council into mobile working. authentic patient journeys and case studies focusing used and how they were received.
Kevin received the prize in November last year from on a wide-range of conditions, anti-oppressive practice
Dr Annie Pullen, Course Director for Social Work and Dr resource available in six different languages, and
Julie Gripton from the Allied Health Professions Advisor various presentations on quality of life, effective
For more information about CIPeL, or to register for
Heart of England Foundation Trust and Birmingham communication, phantom phenomena and pain –
access to its learning materials, please visit
Eastern & North PCT Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. among others. The resources vary in terms of duration, or email Marie Krumins, Centre
“It was a great pleasure to present the award to Kevin,” interactivity and the types of media used (including audio,
Manager at
said Dr Gripton. “The work he has been involved with video, animation, text and graphics).
sounded exciting and very relevant to modern practice and There are additional resources for Continual
to the challenges of time and information management in Professional Development, such as management and
social work. I wish Kevin all the best with the remaining leadership, reflection, communication, research,
part of his course.” examination of the newborn, hand washing techniques,
and assisted guidance on how to complete NRES forms.
Other projects nearing completion are an innovative
3D resource for moving and handling, a resource for
Excellent delivery for nursing and midwifery cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mental health advocacy
and interprofessional mentorship in practice settings.

T he Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has given

Coventry’s Nursing and Midwifery courses and resources
a positive health check – awarding them the highest award
The 2007/08 assessment confirmed that the NMC
has ‘confidence’ in the health provision at Coventry
University and awarded the quality of its courses a ‘good’
possible. grade and gave an ‘outstanding’ grade (the highest award)
The NMC, the professional body for nursing and for its resources, in particular for the skills laboratories and
midwifery, annually assesses universities, but due to the the library. CIPeL’s Street Learning project
quality of its courses, Coventry will now become one of The two-day in-depth assessment visit included
31 universities (out of a total of 85) who can do a self- inspections at all of the NHS Trusts and independent
assessment in 2008/09. placements that support the students’ education.
Partnerships between all of the organisations were
considered excellent with commendation for the practice
facilitators who demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment.
The NMC has introduced the risk monitoring process to
highlight any risks that could undermine standards of course
provision and the students’ ‘fitness to practice.’
Christine Whitney-Cooper, Head of Nursing at Coventry
University said: “The Directors of Nursing have commended
us on the quality of the nurses that come from Coventry
University but it is good to feel that confidence had also
been confirmed by our professional body too. This is an
amazing achievement and recognises all of the hard work
that the University staff and our clinical partners put into
making our courses such a success.”
4 5

Global support for

young people with cancer New doctorate for health and social care

T he success of an innovative online course is

helping health professionals around the world meet
the care needs of young people with cancer.
A new part-time professional doctorate in health and
social care is being launched in September 09 to
meet the learning needs of busy practitioners.
A one-year
module will also be
available to prepare
The special postgraduate course was developed in Using online delivery, combined with face-to-face students for
2006 by the University, in partnership with Teenage research supervision and conferences, the programme will learning at doctoral
Cancer Trust – the national charity which helps young include a range of taught modules in health specialisms level to help them
people fight cancer. and research methods. develop the skills
The charity, with a donation from financial Students will identify a professional issue – ideally a needed for their
institution Scottish Widows, wanted to develop more The course is still supported by Teenage Cancer question they are currently facing within their workplace – particular research.
training for people working with teenagers and Trust and the University has also developed a which they would like to explore further through Accreditation
young people with cancer whose specific needs are partnership with CanTeen – the Australian National
independent research. The modules will prepare students of prior learning
often ignored. Charity for teenagers with cancer.
for a final integrative report or thesis and are designed for will be a possibility
Coventry developed the course to be delivered Course Director Maria Cable said: “While the UK’s
totally online because it was difficult to release clinical medicine and services for teenagers and young adults health and social care professionals who want to further for students with
colleagues from practice and to ensure international with cancer may be more developed, the rest of the their development as expert practitioners and researchers. existing higher
experts could contribute to the learning materials. world is now catching up. This course is helping Students’ will develop critical thinking about practice qualifications.
The course consists of three modules – two are national and international individuals, and and health service delivery and address professional
subject-specific and the third is a work-based learning subsequently organisations, meet the needs for this issues such as ethical matters and evidence and For more information contact Ann Green, Professional
project. Teaching materials include online discussion niche group of patients.” values-based practice. Doctorate Programme Lead
forums, narrated PowerPoint presentations, audio and Young people can get some of the most rare and The doctorate will be a comprehensive research
video recordings featuring international experts and aggressive forms of cancer and in the UK six young project that can be either a large research programme
patients. people a day have to face that diagnosis. The or a portfolio of work-based interventions.
Many projects started on the work-based emotional upheaval of adolescence can make a
learning module have continued, such as an art cancer diagnosis even harder to cope with.
project, a national study day and the production Nigel Revell, Director of Education at Teenage
of a DVD for health care professionals, and project
managing the development of a Teenage Cancer
Cancer Trust said: “Teenage cancer requires
specialist care. Young people have a much better
Service improvements for students
Trust unit. chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated
The course delivery and the online forums were
rated highly by the first cohort of 22 students from
by teenage cancer experts, in an environment
tailored to their needs. It is vital that the staff caring T he quality of healthcare at pre-
registration level has improved
thanks to a successful pilot scheme
Since 2006 the NHSIII has been
working towards making service
improvements an integral part of pre-
currently offered in mandatory
modules on leadership and change
to all students studying all strands
the UK, Australia and New Zealand, which included for these young people also understand their needs.
mostly nurses and one charity worker. This course provides this education.” that has been running at Coventry registration education rather than of nursing, dietetics, midwifery,
Now running for the second time, with University and three other institutions. being seen as an optional extra after occupational therapy and
improvements, the course has attracted a wider range For further information about the course please The NHS Institute for Innovation registration. physiotherapy. In the newly validated
of professions, including doctors, social workers, contact Maria Cable on and Improvement NHSIII, instigated Coventry University was one of the courses, it will be in the same
occupational therapists and researchers, from the and for more information about the charity visit: the pilot after it recognised healthcare initial sites, along with Warwick, modules and the students should
same countries as well as USA, Canada and Sweden. students were not taught to Teesside and York St John, to be gain practical experience in the
understand or know how to tackle commissioned by the NHSIII to inter-professional strand of the
system failures until after they had develop and pilot service modules.
Mark of approval registered.
There was some activity, post-
improvement with its students. The
pilots have been externally evaluated
After the successful
implementation at Coventry Sue has

A ll of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences under Nursing (all four Braches), Occupational Therapy, registration, to involve healthcare and proven to be successful. now been seconded to the NHSIII for
graduate ‘pre-registration’ courses were successfully Operating Department Practice, Paramedic Science professionals in clinical governance, HLS Senior Lecturer in Healthcare two years to facilitate a role out of
re-approved last year. and Physiotherapy. quality and the principles and Management Sue Lister has been the initiative to other universities that
The Nursing and Midwifery Council, Health Professions Innovations in the curricula in relation to leadership and practicalities of service improvements working with the NHSIII on this provide pre-registration education to
Council and the University all approved awards in management, combating inequalities, evidence based but historically, the emphasis at initiative since 2006 and helped healthcare professionals.
Dietetics, Midwifery (Long and Shortened programmes), practice and inter-professional learning continue to be key pre-registration was on clinical/ introduce the changes to Coventry.
features of these courses. professional education. The theory of service improvement is
6 7
The new HDTI building under construction

a healthy future
As the doors to the new building of the Health Design and Technology
Institute get ready to open, its Director Simon Fielden explains why it
has an important role to play in delivering the healthcare of the future

F or the first time ever, the percentage of the UK

population aged under-16 has dropped below the
percentage of the population of state pensionable age*.
Through the use of focus groups, recorded usability
studies and field trials, the HDTI offers clients a unique
opportunity to test innovations with their intended end
Opal Contracts a Highly Commended award in the Achievement
In Innovation category at the 2008 Lord Stafford Awards. Since the
product’s launch in late 2007, Opal has secured sales in excess of
The continuing rise in the number of older people is users. As well as providing invaluable information that feeds £1.2 million and is waiting to hear the outcome of a multi-million
creating challenges for the health and social care sectors back into the design process, the final report at the end of pound NHS tender.
as well as demands for new products and services to a study provides the client with an independent, rigorous, It is product success like this that the new HDTI building will
support this growing community. academically-led body of evidence that can be used in encourage. Imperative work if we are to cope with the increasing
Coventry University’s Health Design and Technology support of a product’s marketing claims. demands in the way we want our healthcare delivered.
Institute (HDTI), now in its second year, was created There’s also professional, specialist design support
to assist in the development of a wide range of available from the HDTI’s in-house product * National Office for Statistics, August 2008
healthcare products that would support the design team. This can range from early
needs of an ageing population, people conceptualisation through 3D Computer
with physical disabilities and those Aided Design (CAD) modelling to rapid
with chronic health conditions. prototyping.
Top marks: Vice Chancellor Professor Madeleine
The HDTI has been built on the As well as accommodating two
Atkins congratulates the construction team on
University’s strength in health and lecture theatres and offices for
hitting their milestone at a topping out ceremony
design and its track record in HDTI staff, the new building will
for the new HDTI building
knowledge transfer to industry. also include a bistro and office
On the eve of its new building space for businesses to rent, with
opening in May this year, the HDTI hot-desking facilities for pre-start
has already helped over 50 up companies.
organisations develop new products Financial support from Advantage
for the healthcare market. The West Midlands and the European
Four areas of HDTI activity:
Institute has created a supportive Regional Development Fund enables
environment where businesses can HDTI to provide Small and Medium Size
1. The design and evaluation of products and services 3. T he delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate
required for improved healthcare in the community courses in health and social care, design,
interact with healthcare practitioners and Enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands
and the self-management of health and wellbeing engineering and management
end-users in the development of new community region with five days of funded consultancy activity.
healthcare products and services. It’s an extremely flexible provision and the time can be
2. C
 ontinuing professional development and training of 4. Applied
 research projects in collaboration with
When complete, the new building will house a design made up of product design, prototyping or usability.
community-based healthcare professionals, carers faculties and external partners.
studio, workshop and mock up area where users can trial These partnerships have resulted in award-winning new
and self-managing patients to make full use of
and evaluate a product within an appropriate environment. products making a difference in the healthcare sector.
assistive technologies products and services
This will be complemented by a usability suite incorporating Collaborative work on a novel fixing clip for disposable
discreet audio visual recording equipment. hospital curtains earned the HDTI and Birmingham-based

8 9
A welcome intervention
Since the launch of the applied research centre in Health and Lifestyle
Interventions, investing in key academics who lead effective teams has been
the major factor in our recent successes. Professor Louise Wallace explains
how the new centre has made an impact with its research

W hen two research centres

combined forces in 2006 to form
the Health and Lifestyle Interventions
We have also appointed Professor
Brian Toft (see interview on page 14),
who is experienced in Patient Safety
the projects we are currently leading
the way in range from training health
professionals in breastfeeding
risk in young people. Dr Brown is
leading the work on teenage
pregnancy and recently presented her
organisation and functioning of
services to support self-management.
As a result of our prominent role
(ARC HLI) applied research centre, Investigations and he is now support and working with local health research findings at an international in the evaluation of this high profile
it proved to be a successful venture. leading the development of the course and council services in the promotion conference in Macau on national demonstration project we
The centre’s purpose was to on Root Cause Analysis in patient of breastfeeding, to undertaking contraception. We have developed have significant opportunities to
Key appointments
develop complex behavioural safety. This complements Department evidence reviews to support the a programme for Coventry Primary develop new interventions. Much
Funding has helped the ARC
interventions for health, evaluate of Health funded research we had National Institute for Clinical and Care Trust called ‘What Shall We Tell of our work is about transforming
HLI appoint some key members
them and ensure they can be used underway on learning from patient Health Excellence (NICE) guidance. The Children About Relationships and patients’ engagement in their
to the team.
in practice. Now in its third year the safety incidents and investigations; Our breastfeeding research has Sex? which offers advice to parents healthcare through support and by
ARC HLI is providing high quality and evaluating staff training. led us to create a commercially who have children aged five to 15. It is helping clinicians to use more effective
• Dr David French: recently
applied research, consultancy These as well as other new available learning package for health being delivered throughout Coventry communication strategies.
undertaken advisory work for the
and postgraduate training – appointments and secondments are professionals to help them support and Warwickshire by facilitators and A project that demonstrates this
Department of Health related to
all underpinned by one of its core paying off. We have brought in over more mothers to breastfeed their due to its success Coventry PCT is type of work is the evaluation we are
health psychology, as well as
competences, health psychology. £1 million in both the first and babies. A new training assessment making it commercially available to doing on an innovative approach
led the scientific committee of
Key appointments enabled the second year and we now have 29 called CUBA (Coventry University other PCTs. to improving communication and
the largest European health
ARC HLI to get off to a great start staff and students (nine of them are Breastfeeding Assessment) and a decision-making between cancer
psychology conference to date.
and ensured we had serious academic PhD students). workbook with a DVD is available Supporting patients and their clinicians in
leadership in place to tackle for sale through the centre’s spin out Edinburgh. We are also developing • Dr. Jemma Edmunds,
long-term illness
substantial research projects. Practical use company Health Behaviour Research an intervention to improve Chlamydia a postdoctoral fellow, is working
We were fortunate to secure the Limited (www.healthbehaviour One of the largest projects we are screening by General Practitioners in alongside David, investigating
We are keen to make sure our
expertise of Dr David French, a skilled A demo of the CUBA working on at the moment is Southern England. exercise intervention for women
research is well used – we publish
researcher and health psychologist, and a workbook sample can be evaluating the Health Foundation’s It’s not a lone crusade though. who are pregnant and obese;
in high impact journals and we make
who now has three PhD students downloaded from the site too. Co-creating Health project (www. The centre has established strong a major health risk for mother
our work known to policy makers.
working with him and has already This company was formed in The project, led by links with many universities, and and baby.
We also want to see our
attracted a large Medical Research 2006 to produce evidence-based myself and Dr Andrew Turner with a with Warwick Medical School in
interventions being used practically • Brian Toft: experienced in
Council grant worth a third of a intervention tools and make them team of six staff and a PhD student, particular. In much of our work we
to make a health impact. Some of Patient Safety Investigations and
million pounds for a project called: available to a wide-range of people operates in eight health care partner with others in the University
The development of an intervention to globally. The CUBA is already being economies and four comparator health and CUE Limited. developing a new course.
promote walking in primary care. used in the USA and Canada as well care economies involving 28 NHS The HLI has already worked on a • Dr Louise Moody: part-time
as in the UK. trusts across England and Scotland. Breastfeeding DVD with the Institute seconded from the Faculty of
A large pilot study is currently It tests the impact of interventions to of Creative Enterprises (ICE) and is in Art and Design to work with
underway in the West Midlands, support people with four common collaboration with the Serious Games Brian Toft and Louise Wallace to
with funding from the West Midlands long term conditions: Chronic Musculo Institute (SGI) on the next phase of the research ergonomic approaches
Regional Office, to help 900 Skeletal Pain, Diabetes, Chronic parent programme. We’re currently to patient safety.
healthcare staff across three Obstructive Pulmonary Disease submitting a joint bid with the
healthcare economies to learn more (COPD) and Depression. ARC HLI is Business School around technology • Dr Orla Dunn, senior lecturer in
about breastfeeding using the CUBA evaluating the Health Foundation’s adoption, which will also call on the Psychology and Sue Law, senior
and the workbook. self-management course for patients, HDTI’s expertise. lecturer in midwifery: both part-
We have also secured research a clinical development programme As we move into 2009, our aim is time secondments from Faculty
grants from the NHS and from a global for clinicians to train them to support to expand our portfolio of collaborative of Health and Life Sciences
corporate to help develop Dr their patients to self-manage, and projects with other universities and to support breastfeeding
Katherine Brown’s work on promoting a service improvement quality to find new ways to showcase and intervention development.
contraception and reducing sexual development to improve the commercialise our interventions.
10 11
A healthy choice
As choice and personalisation in the provision of health and social care
climb the political agenda, Dr Guy Daly, Associate Dean of HLS, debates
the implications and looks at how Coventry’s lecturers and researchers
continue to respond to the changes

A ny call to have more control over the way we receive

our health and social care would find little opposition.
But the higher we aim, the greater the challenge.
So, on the one hand, enforcing greater choice into the
health system could be perceived as the Government
re-branding its social policies within a populist hue so
Government policy has continued to promote choice it can, once again, challenge welfare professionals’ Within Coventry’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, A number of the Faculty’s researchers, including those
and personalisation; both in the provision of health and perceived supplier-dominance. we have considerable experience of embedding the in the Centre for Health and Lifestyles Interventions, as
social care as well as more generally. From this perspective, various questions and critiques central position of service users and patients into our well as the Applied Research Groups in Public Health,
For social care, this was articulated in the 2005 Adult can be raised about the Government choice discourse. activities. It’s done through curriculum development, Living and Working with Disabilities, and Social Inclusion
Social Care Green Paper (DH, 2005), the subsequent For example, choice may exacerbate inequalities – not selection of students and staff, teaching, learning and in Social Care are actively engaged in researching the
White Paper (DH, 2006) and more recently in Putting least because access to welfare services is shaped by assessment and research. experience and perspective of service users and patients.
People First – A Shared Vision and commitment to the economic and social capital and social inequalities more Both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula for the Research topics include expert patients, individual
transformation of Adult Social Care (HMG, 2007), generally. fourteen health and social care professions provided by budgets, long term conditions and co-creating health.
Transforming Social Care (DH, 2008) and Care, Support However, the Government may well be responding the Faculty have at their core a recognition of the The courses and research are all geared towards
and Independence – Meeting the Needs of a Changing to a genuine call from service users, individually and centrality of the service user/patient. This was recognised ensuring our undergraduate and postgraduate students
Society (HMG, 2008). collectively, to have greater choice and control over the most recently in March 2008 by the Nursing and Midwifery are equipped with the necessary skills and understanding
In health care, the Darzi Review (DH, 2007) suggested public services they receive. Council (NMC) and the Health Professions Council (HPC) to support service users and patients in their aspirations.
that the personalisation agenda might be extended to The disability rights movement for one has argued for when the Faculty’s undergraduate curriculum was No doubt the debate surrounding choice and
long-term health care. some time that choice and control are essential if disabled re-approved by these two statutory bodies. personalisation and the related issues on inequality will
But what is the driving force behind the Government’s citizens are to enjoy the equal rights. For a number of years service users and patients have continue, but the University will always be at the forefront
call for patients and social care service users to have However, if health and social care users are to been involved in the selection of students as well as in of research and informing practice.
greater choice, personalisation and control? exercise greater choice and control, there are a number teaching and assessing.
Government uses choice in a variety of different ways, of challenges that still need to be addressed: The Faculty’s Centre for Inter-professional e-Learning
including as a means to challenge supplier dominance also has the ‘user’s voice’ as a key part of its activities.
and to provide personalised services, as well as being • an adequate supply which is flexible and responsive
presented as a mechanism to ‘democratise’ and ‘equalise’ • s ervice users need to have the skills to take on new
welfare provision. responsibilities References
User choice and personalisation have been promoted
widely, for example in health care with ‘choose and book’ •p
 rofessionals need to recognise to a greater extent DH (2005) Independence, Wellbeing and Choice Our Vision for the Future HMG (2007) Putting People First – A Shared Vision and commitment to the
for hospital admissions, in social housing with the that their role is changing of Adult Care, London: Department of Health transformation of Adult Social Care

introduction of ‘choice based lettings’, in education with • t he development of effective advocacy services DH (2006) Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community HMG (2008) Care, Support and Independence – Meeting the Needs
the establishment of city academies and foundation and support services, London: The Stationery Office of a Changing Society
schools and faith-based schools, and in social care with
 ot all service users/patients will necessarily want to DH (2007) Our NHS, Our Future: NHS Next Stage Review: Interim report Parts of this article are adapted from a previous paper: ‘Is choice the right
the expansion of direct payments, the promotion of
take up choice and personalisation opportunities. [Lord Darzi Review]. London, Department of Health policy?’ which appeared in Health Matters, No. 72, pp. 16-17
individualised budgets and the encouragement of the (Summer 2008)
Third Sector to provide social care. DH (2008) Transforming Social Care, London: Department of Health

12 13
In the first of a series of profiles, Professor
Brian Toft explains how he is helping to develop

Professorial Lectures
a new kind of investigative student with an
innovative new course

Risky Brian To
r of Patie
nt Safety

Business Nobody’s Perfect

I n the field of risk management, Professor Brian Toft is the

investigator you want on your case. His theories around
I am, as far as I know, the only person in the world
who has a degree in ‘Human Factor Failure in Complex Bfessrioran
Pat ient
the causes of incidents have been recognised by
professional organisations around the world, he is a fellow
Systems’ – as Lancaster University allowed me to create
my own degree to study human and organisational failure.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Skil ls up to date?
and member of many recognised institutes, and he has I subsequently went on to develop my theories in my PhD
contributed to Government patient safety reviews. As the and, armed with this and a Diploma in Computer Science Stay ahead of NHS ref
orms and ensure your
world’s first Professor in Patient Safety, Brian is developing from Cambridge University, I started as a Research Fellow knowledge and skills me
et the demands of a
a new e-learning course, which he hopes will create at Reading University. I developed my career in Risk 21st century health ser
students that dig a little deeper for the reasons why Management with different companies and now manage
humans sometimes get it wrong. my own consultancy – and work with Coventry University Thursday 26th February 2009 at 6pm As the NHS shapes up
one day a week. Humber Lecture Theatre, care for all, there will be
its vision for high qualit
Q. What work are you doing with Coventry? I am fascinated by what causes incidents and George Eliot Building, Room GEG workforce and modernis
a transformation of the
ation of careers.
A. I started working with Coventry in January 2008 and developed a theory called ‘Involuntary Automaticity,’
was asked to create an e-learning postgraduate certificate which explains the reasons why under certain At Coventry University
we have developed
in Root Cause Analysis. The aim is to develop individuals circumstances people do not see an error that is a portfolio of courses for
healthcare professional
who can review patient safety incidents with greater rigor actually before their eyes. I received the Glyn Evans that are complementary s
to supporting this vision
than tends to be the case at the moment. Root Cause Memorial Lecture medal from the Royal College of .
Analysis is an industry standard term – but the Radiologists for a lecture I gave on this topic in 2006. Develop your knowledg
e, skills and
implication that there is just ‘one’ cause is a misnomer. I continue to be a volunteer for many organisations as competencies to a higher
level to meet the
People frequently do not go down far enough into the a risk advisor and non-executive to provide support and changing demands and
reform of the NHS.
individual, group, organisational and cultural reasons for strengthen my practical knowledge.
such incidents. I go down as far as I can get to discover For more details abou
t the courses on
the reason something happened and I am creating a Q. What do you think about the plans Coventry offer visit www.coven or call
course that challenges students to do the same. has in place for the course? + 44 (0) 24 7679 5959
and ask for the
The course I am developing with the help of Dr Lynn A. I am really enjoying my time at Coventry and I am out more CPD brochure.
u w o u ld like to find this
Clouder, Director of the Centre for Interprofessional working with some great people. I have to congratulate If yo les within
u t a n y o f the artic e n q uiry
E-Learning will be a stand-alone e-learning course. That the institution on its courage for taking such an innovative abo general
s u e , if y ou have a to
means it will be totally online and examined in a very step by creating the world’s first Prof in Patient Safety – is rch, or
lied resea ealth,
innovative way. The only intervention from a teacher will and for the development of the course. It’s an act of faith about app re is sues of H
e to fu tu
be in the creation of the questions for the examination. and a great honour for me to be a part of it. subscrib
Everything will be taught and assessed online. It means please co
anyone in the world can take the course without actually g Admiss
W ill ia m s , Marketin a c u lty of
walking into the University. Gail ager, F
Professor Brian Toft will be presenting his inaugural
d R e c ru it ment Man
an nces
lecture entitled ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ at 6pm on d Life Scie
Q. How did you get involved in risk Health an
Thursday 26 February in the Humber Lecture theatre, 983
management? 2476 795
George Eliot Building. The lecture will examine some : + 44 (0)
A. I was interested in why things just don’t work Telephone o v e n tr
of the powerful processes within human beings that a il W il liams@c alth
Email: G
sometimes. When there is an accident people often say can potentially affect good judgement and lead to it e : w w w .coventry.
things like it was ‘God’s will’ that it took place but the truth Webs
patient safety incidents. Please contact Gail Williams
is there has been some form of human error that caused on if you are interested
the incident. in attending.

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