Dr Ken Cathcpole
Dr Ken Catchpole is a research psychologist and human factors practitioner who seeks to understand and improve human performance in complex systems. After leading a nationwide project developing human abilities in weapon detection at UK airports, he began research in healthcare in 2003 at Great Ormond Street Hospital, examining teamwork and safety in surgery. He now co-leads the Quality, Reliability, Safety and Teamwork Unit in the Nuffield Department of Surgery at the University of Oxford, and works with caregivers to develop and scientifically evaluate interventions to improve safety, while taking a semi-ethnographic approach to understanding the complex nature of safety, quality and human error in healthcare.
Following a two year study examining the mechanism by which errors in surgery cause harm, and a further two years evaluating aviation-style training to reduce surgical error, he is currently completing a project to reduce adverse incidents on surgical wards using industrial production principles. His work with the Ferrari racing team on handovers from surgery to intensive care was short-listed for the Times Research Project of the Year in 2007, and was adopted internationally by a variety of hospitals and quality improvement organisations. Through more than 50 articles, keynote addresses, and media coverage, he has sought to engage a worldwide audience in the evaluation and improvement of safety in healthcare.