Rethinking Decisions

Rethinking Decisions is a specialist course from the Occam Group which has been designed specifically for managers and senior staff working in the care & support sectors, whether that be the NHS, Local Authority social services, the private care sector, etc.

A key feature of the care & support function is that a responsibility is often placed on managers and others to make crucial decisions on behalf of people who, for whatever reason, cannot make these decisions for themselves. That’s a significant burden to carry, because if the decision is made incorrectly it can sometimes have irreversible effects on the service user involved, yet staff rarely (if ever) receive any training in this skill.

The Occam Group have recognised this problem, and have responded by developing Rethinking Decisions. This course, which was written with the technical advice of Dr. Claire Mould PhD (the CEO of the mental health charity Cintre) looks at the field of critical decision making from a HUMAN point of view, rather than in terms of management policies or financial spreadsheets.

Rethinking Decisions not only carefully analyses a selection of UK Serious Case Reviews, and official enquiries into NHS hospitals (for example Gosport War Memorial Hospital), but also draws out valuable learning points from a variety of national and international sources. These sources include:

  • psychological research conducted by the US Naval Air Warfare Centre;
  • the findings of the 1912 UK Board of Trade Enquiry into the sinking of RMS Titanic;
  • the official enquiry into the aircraft collision at Tenerife Airport in 1977 which cost 583 lives.

In addition, in order to provide delegates with the maximum benefit, Rethinking Decisions uses interactive exercises to broaden their understanding of critical decision making, and gives delegates a practical real-world model for critical decision making which is based on a tried and tested methodology applicable to all situations.

Currently the Rethinking Decisions course is being trialed by South Western Ambulance Service, and, in addition, in January/ February 2020 the course was presented at the National Ambulance College, Dublin, to senior officers/ clinical tutors from the Irish National Ambulance Service (INAS).

The course was enthusiastically received by this team, which included the Chief Ambulance Officer (Training & Education) [and please see for a sample of their comments].

Discussions are now in hand with INAS about developing variants of the course for nominated senior officers with responsibility for tactical and strategic management issues.

We would be very happy to have similar discussions with other ambulance services, both in the UK and internationally, about developing variants of Rethinking Decisions tailored to meet their specific needs. To arrange an informal initial discussion please feel free to call us on 0208 242 6241.

The response of trainers who attended a pilot course can be seen at and further information on the availability of courses, both in classroom based and e-learning formats, can be obtained by calling us on 0208 242 6241.