A group of leading patient safety experts are seeking central funding to support the spread of human factors science.

Use of this approach, which examines how factors such as human and individual characteristics influence behaviour that can affect patient safety, was central to the approach advocated by Professor Don Berwick in his review into patient safety in the NHS last year.

The bid to establish a central resource to support NHS organisations is being led by Helen Hughes and Martin Bromiley, chair of the Clinical Human Factors Group.

Mr Bromiley, an airline pilot, founded the group following the death of his wife during routine surgery in 2005.

Ms Hughes, currently chief operating officer for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, was recently seconded to NHS England to advise on human factors.

The bid is also supported by James Titcombe, Care Quality Commission national adviser on patient safety, quality and culture, and Sir Stephen Moss, former chair of Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Mr Bromiley told HSJ the group, which has more than 1,800 supporters in the NHS, was concerned that there was a lack of understanding of the topic, despite all the national bodies signing up to a concordat on human factors in the wake of the Francis report.

He said: “In simple terms it’s about making it easy for people to do the right safe thing.

“In other industries such as nuclear and rail, this stuff is embedded, but there is a lack of expertise in human factors and improvement science at the centre of the NHS.

“We are not talking about setting policy or dictat, but about sharing information so trusts don’t have to waste time reinventing the wheel.”