Article Text

31 Paediatric patient safety (pps): a new approach in undergraduate medical education
  1. Catherine Carus1,
  2. N Woodier2,
  3. A Wignell1,
  4. C Aliker3,
  5. R McAlpine3
  1. 1Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK
  2. 2Trent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre, UK
  3. 3University of Nottingham, UK


Background ‘Today’s increasingly complex healthcare systems offer huge benefits to patients, but also place them at risk.’1 Patient safety often features within a medical school’s hidden curriculum, but increasingly it is being brought to the forefront of a student’s education. ‘Patient safety is inseparable from a good learning environment and culture that values and supports learners and educators. Where our [GMC] standards previously focused on protecting patients from any risk we will now make sure that education and training takes place where patients are safe.’2 There is no published work on introducing patient safety into child health curricula. This will explore the use of an innovative and active learning encounter to develop paediatric safety knowledge, skills and attitudes in undergraduate medical students.

Methodology Students will be randomised to one of two study arms during their 8 week child health attachment. All will complete a ‘room of horrors’3 task in week.1 In week 4, one group will take part in a PPS workshop; the second will attend a traditional, commonly-used, safety lecture. In week 7, all will complete a second ‘room of horrors’ task, followed by the workshop for the second group. The workshop incorporates key learning from PPS priorities identified via local DATIX systems. It includes; critical incident simulation (recognise and rescue of sick patients), ‘room of horrors’ task (hazard awareness), medication safety, safeguarding, duty of candour and medical documentation.

Results Small numbers in our pilot session means reporting statistically significant findings is not appropriate. There were improved scores for self-reported confidence in; both recognition of the sick child and of safeguarding concerns, and communication with parents when problems arising with their child’s treatment. Further work will allow us to continue analysing changes in self-reported confidence as well as objectively assessing performance with the ‘room of horrors’ task.


  1. First, do no harm. Enhancing patient safety teaching in undergraduate medical education. A joint report by the General Medical Council and the Medical Schools Council, Sept 2015.

  2. Promoting excellence: standards for medical education and training, General Medical Council, Jan 2016.

  3. Farnan et al 2015; Patient safety room of horrors: a novel method to assess medical students and entering residents' ability to identify hazards of hospitalisation, BMJ Quality and Safety.

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.