Whether using sophisticated life-size manikins, trained actors or part-task devices the SaIL centre courses are always designed with Patient Safety and Service Quality in mind.

We can simulate a wide variety of settings including:

  • Resuscitation area
  • Ward area
  • ICU
  • GP/outpatient
  • Home
  • Operating Theatre

Being immersed in these realistic environments and being allowed to practice roles and face challenging circumstances helps equip doctors and nurses to handle stressful and highly-charged situations in clinical practice.

Our candidates improve their clinical and patient management skills without risk to real patients. We also stress the importance of what are known as Non-Technical Skills (NTS).

Non-technical Skills

These are vital aspects of healthcare which relate to teamwork, avoiding error and ensuring dignity and compassion are central to what we do. We aim to ensure that all our course participants, whatever the specialty, are enabled to:

  1. Know their environment
  2. Anticipate and plan
  3. Take a leadership role
  4. Communicate effectively
  5. Call for help early
  6. Allocate attention wisely; use all information available
  7. Distribute workload; utilize all available resources

We increasingly teach NTS to inter-professional and multi-disciplinary teams. This provides significant insights into the ways in which healthcare practice works in real life and allows for groups to learn from each other and explore barriers and challenges across disciplinary boundaries.


In our interactive learning environment our faculty is trained to facilitate reflective practice using structured ‘debriefs’ including video playback; here participants have an opportunity to review and discuss events, explore clinical and non-clinical issues and take away meaningful lessons for their practice.

Human Factors

At the SaIL centres we approach Patient Safety from a Human Factors (HF) perspective.  This involves examination of technology, human error, work systems and processes and safety culture to improve care and develop innovative, excellent practice.  The SaIL centres have a strong and growing HF group with psychologists, clinicians and managers working together to improve safety.

The St Thomas House SaIL Centre and King’s College London are collaborating in a new Centre for Applied Resilience in Healthcare, funded by the GSTT Charity from 2013. This will involve applying HF principles to safety and improvement work in vital areas such as Accident and Emergency and Older Person’s Care. All our wider improvement work feeds back into course development and we will have further details soon of our Human Factors in Healthcare course which was developed in 2013.