Behaviour change to support service transformation

Training to support behaviour change 

Lead: Professor Rebecca Lawton

Collaborators: Dr Judith Dyson (University of Hull) | Dr Natalie Taylor (Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Macquarie University)

Interventions designed to improve patient safety such as guidelines, checklists and new technologies, all require healthcare staff to do things differently – in other words – to change their behaviour. It is widely, but wrongly assumed that if people have the knowledge about what to do, change will follow. This is why strategies to implement change usually focus on increasing knowledge through emails, posters, meetings and training. However, if knowledge were the key to behaviour change, few of us would be overweight or inactive. The CLAHRC Evidence Based Transformation with the NHS theme have been working with the AHSN Improvement Academy in Yorkshire and Humber to support improvement projects by helping staff across the region to implement change more effectively by using theories of behaviour change to underpin their work. Three hundred people have now attended our training workshops and a toolkit is freely available via the Improvement Academy website to support their change projects. 

Over the coming year we hope to evaluate the impact of this approach on staff knowledge, attitudes and success in making change happen. For more information about this work, as well as some key resources, please see

A behaviour change approach to supporting the response to Acute Kidney Injury alerts

Lead: Dr Jane O’Hara / Professor Rebecca Lawton

Collaborators: Dr Sherena Nair | Dr Andrew Lewington (LTHT) | Dr Rob Jackson (LTHT)

Of increasing importance both nationally and locally for patient safety is the issue of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). AKI is a rapid deterioration of renal function, resulting in inability to maintain fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance. It is detected and monitored by serial serum creatinine readings primarily, which rise acutely. Inpatient mortality varies greatly, but in the UK it may be 20-30% or even higher, and patients who have had AKI are at increased risk of developing CKD. Better managing AKI is receiving increasing focus by policy makers, with the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2013 publishing guidance on this issue.

As part of the EBT Theme’s work on behaviour change for patient safety transformation, we are currently undertaking a small project which aims to use behaviour change approaches to the underpin better management of the response to AKI alerts. This will involve mapping the process of receiving and responding to AKI alerts, followed by identifying the key behaviour within this process to understand further and seek to provide support for. Please follow Research Capability Funding link for details of additional AKI behaviour change work.