Wednesday, 12 February 2014

What's in a name? Emphasising the Human Factors work of the SCSC.

Looking back

The Scottish Clinical Simulation Centre (SCSC) was founded in 1998 as a partnership between the four Scottish University Departments of Anaesthesia, the Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical & Dental Education, and Stirling Royal Infirmary NHS Trust. The stimulus for the project came from the four Professors of Anaesthesia in Scotland at the time, led by Professor Alastair Spence. Dr Ronnie Glavin and Dr Nikki Maran shared the post of Educational Director and they were supported by a full-time technician, Ian Ballard and a fellow consultant anaesthetist, Dr Hamish Finlay. In 1998 the SCSC trained 200 anaesthetists.

In 2010 the SCSC moved from Stirling to Larbert with the construction of a bespoke simulation centre encompassing 2 simulation suites and full in-situ capabilities.

Where are we now?

With support from NHS Education Scotland (NES) and Forth Valley Health Board we now have a director, 2 administrators, 2 technicians, 2 simulation fellows and 8 physician educational co-ordinators and we are about to appoint 2 non-physician educational co-ordinators. We run courses for surgeons (in collaboration with the Cuschieri Centre in Dundee), paramedics, obstetricians, physicians' assistants, nurses, midwives, foundation doctors, emergency medics, paediatricians and more. These courses are uni- or multi-professional as required, inside the simulation centre or in-situ.

Where are we going?

According to Gaba(1) "simulation is a technique… to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner". I would argue that simulation, when done well, looks at human factors: the effects of the equipment, the person,  the team, the environment and the organisation on performance.

When I look back over the blogposts on this site I find much of the subject matter is on human factors. Our latest vision statement is: "Simulation training and an understanding of human factors are applied throughout the healthcare environment to support effective, efficient and safe patient care".

In addition, we are currently involved in human factors training for over 1200 NHS Lothian healthcare staff and we are also about to appoint our first educational co-ordinator with a specific focus on human factors. 

In order to underline our focus on human factors and simulation the SCSC is changing its name. We look forward to welcoming you to the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF) on your next visit.


1) Gaba DM. Qual Saf Health Care 2004;13:i2-i10

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