Martin Bromiley is an airline pilot and Chair of the Clinical Human Factors Group. In April 2005 his wife Elaine died as a direct result of clinical errors, during what was supposed to have been a routine operation.
At that time Martin had over 10 years’ experience as an airline pilot, including time specialising as a ‘human factors trainer’. Culturally, he had seen much happen in his business to improve safety, where error is now accepted as something to be expected and managed, and so people work hard to catch it. After Elaine’s death, he started to look at human factors in healthcare. He met many champions of ‘human factors’ within clinical practice and it was obvious that if all this knowledge could be harnessed, it would make a real difference. He went on to set up the Clinical Human Factors Group, a broad coalition of healthcare professionals, managers and users of services who have partnered with experts in human factors from healthcare and other high-risk industries to campaign for change in the NHS.