Behavioural Insights and the NHS

Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT) is working with WBS’s Behavioural Science Group to improving the quality and safety it offers patients and employees through environmental engineering.

Environmental engineering is a broad concept meant to include both the context and consequences that influence behaviour. Most immediately this includes built structures (e.g., designs to increase people’s use of stairs) and physically transit features (e.g., the placement of food in shops). Environmental engineering also includes social structures or the relationship between people (e.g., providing platforms that allow staff to collaboratively innovate solutions to common work-place problems). Finally, environmental engineering includes positive and negative consequences peoples face for their behaviours (e.g., employees being notified of changes when they report incidents).

Together, we are working on projects such as but are not limited to: reducing the number of patients who do not attend scheduled appointments, increasing knowledge transfer between staff about serious untoward incidents, and increasing hand-hygiene compliance.


Ivo Vlaev
Professor of Behavioural Science
Kelly Schmidtke
Research Fellow
Krishane Patel
Doctoral Student