Human Factors Workforce Fund

Published on 7 December 2022

What is the Human Factors Workforce Fund?

The WMAHSN launched the first Human Factors Workforce Fund in summer 2022.  The aim of the fund was to support the spread or adoption of a Human Factors innovation or improvement.  Individuals and teams working across health and social care were invited to apply for funding of up to £10,000 to help overcome barriers in implementing innovations and improvements in their direct field of work.  In addition to the funding, the successful project would also receive WMAHSN support over a six-month delivery period. Applications for the 2022 fund closed in July after receiving an extremely positive response.

The WMAHSN were keen to support projects that primarily focused on one or more of the five clinical areas within the Core20PLUS5
document:

  • Maternity
  • Severe Mental Illness
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease
  • Early Cancer Diagnosis
  • Hypertension Case-Finding

Fran Ives, Human Factors Specialist at West Midlands Academic Health Science Network said: “The Human Factors Workforce Fund enables organisations to increase their Human Factors work whilst also focusing on resolving some of the inequalities found within healthcare. By supporting Human Factors focused projects, across the local health and social care sector, we are able to improve human well-being and system performance, and as a result, improve delivery of services and patient outcomes.”

Why is a Human Factors Workforce Fund required?

Despite recognition of the benefits of Human Factors to patient and staff safety, and systems performance, healthcare organisations have struggled to integrate the science into their work.  With few healthcare practices employing qualified Human Factors specialists, most Human Factors’ projects are undertaken by individuals, or small groups of staff, with an interest in the subject, or a genuine passion to make improvements.  The WMAHSN’s fund will support staff to apply Human Factors methods to make tangible improvements to operational systems.

What solution does the Human Factors Workforce Fund provide?

As well as funding, the successful applicant will  receive support from the WMAHSN, over a six-month delivery period. This will help shape future priorities in building capacity and capability within the West Midlands and gain an understanding of local workforce challenges.

What impact does the Human Factors Workforce Fund have?

Following the fund’s launch in 2022, funding was awarded to a project aiming to reduce the number of respiratory admissions in the area.  Work is currently being undertaken on the project which aims to conclude in 2023.

Find out more

Get in touch with a member of the team below to find out how you can get involved.

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Project team

Fran Ives

Chartered Human Factors Specialist

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