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Understanding and improving the safety of healthcare and other industries.

Our aim is to use research to both understand and improve the safety of healthcare and other industries. Members of the group have worked extensively in many clinical contexts. We have close links with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (community and mental health services) and clinical colleagues at Oxford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (acute hospitals).

Our work is currently focused on four broad areas:

(i) Improving the safety and quality of healthcare. With colleagues at Oxford Healthcare Improvement we are working to improve the safety and quality of mental health and community services and to build the capacity for improvement and organisational change in the NHS.  We are also working with colleagues from University of Kent and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to study the development of integrated care systems in the NHS.

(ii) The benefits and risks of healthcare in the home. Healthcare is increasingly being provided in the home but this can pose considerable challenges as patients and families have to carry out complex clinical tasks which were previously only carried out by professionals. We are developing methods of providing training and support to parents caring for children with complex illnesses.

(iii) Safeguarding children at risk at home.  We are working with Oxford County Council to evaluate a major new programme aimed at increasing family support and treatment and reducing the need for children at risk to be removed from home and placed in foster care.

(iv)  Managing risk under pressure.  Healthcare staff work under considerable pressure in many settings which poses considerable risks to patients and to the staff who care for them.  Clinical staff are trained to manage clinical emergencies but there is little guidance or preparation for managing whole units or departments. We are studying and developing the strategies that healthcare staff use to maintain productivity and safety when under pressure.

Our team

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Related research themes