Humphry Davy

Nottingham human factors researcher does the double in 2023 award season

Wednesday, 18 October 2023

A researcher based at the University of Nottingham is part of a group that has won two prestigious awards for its work producing practical guidance on human factors in anaesthesia.

The Human Factors Guideline Group of the Difficult Airway Society and the Association of Anaesthetists won the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ Humphry Davy Award and Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors’ President’s Award, for its outstanding contribution to the development of human factors and improving clinical care.

Formed in 2017 and funded by the Difficult Airway Society, the group is made up of anaesthetists and human factors experts and has spent six years working on two papers, which were both published in the Anaesthesia journal in January this year. Since publication, the guidelines have benefitted anaesthetists across the globe, empowering them to make changes in their own hospitals.

Human factors is an evidence-based scientific discipline used in safety critical industries to improve safety and well-being. The implementation of human factors strategies in anaesthesia has the potential to reduce the reliance on exceptional personal and team performance to provide safe and high-quality patient care.

We formulated a set of 12 recommendations, which are described using a ‘hierarchy of controls’ model and classified into design, barriers, mitigations and education and training strategies. For our work to have been so well-received by those in the industry was something that we were already incredibly proud of, so to have now received two national awards as well really is the cherry on the cake.
Dr Alex Lang, Member of the Human Factors Research Group at the University of Nottingham

The group is continuing to disseminate its advice through ongoing opportunities in several countries across the world to maintain awareness of its research and its benefits for industry.

To read the award-winning paper in Anaesthesia, click here.

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More information is available from Danielle Hall, Media Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham, at or 0115 846 7156.     

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Danielle Hall - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Engineering
Phone: 0115 846 7156

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