Brook Howells

PhD Student

Brook Howells

PhD start date: January 2024
PhD project title: Exploring the role of a safety management system in healthcare

PhD Supervisors: 


Brook graduated with from the University of York with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Linguistics and subsequently an MA in Applied Ethics. Brook became a Knowledge Transfer Associate with the Greater Manchester Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (GM CLAHRC) in 2009, supporting primary care professionals to implement NICE guidance and put research into practice through improvement collaboratives. Brook then joined Aqua, an NHS organisation that supports quality and safety improvement for health and care services. She worked as an Improvement Facilitator for shared decision making and self-management support. She completed her PGCert in Innovation and Improvements Science at Lancaster University in 2015 and then became a Senior Improvement Advisor, delivering training and facilitating quality improvement projects focused on personalised care and safety, developing an interest in human factors and how it can be applied to different quality challenges.

She completed her MSc in Human Factors and Ergonomics at Loughborough University in 2023, and having worked with a number of teams to improve their understanding and application of human factors in practice is a Technical Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (TechCIEHF). Brook is also an Advanced Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner and has a particular interest in working with frontline staff to make improvements based on identifying and developing the existing strengths and positive skills of teams.

Brook is now a PhD student funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Research Collaboration, working with the Safer Systems, Cultures and Practices theme.

PhD overview

Brook’s PhD is exploring safety management systems and how learning from other industries may support safety improvement in healthcare

Research interests

Human factors, patient safety and quality, personalised care, human factors, appreciative inquiry.