Ground-breaking training project for junior doctors “ePIFFany” developed in Leicester showcased at International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare, London, 21 – 24 April

Dr Rakesh Patel develops new ‘ePIFFany’ initiative

LEICESTER, 21-4-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — A ground-breaking training project for junior doctors – developed in Leicester and soon to be launched in Lincolnshire – will be showcased to a global audience of health experts at an international event next Friday (24 April).

“ePIFFany” is the only East Midlands initiative to be showcased via a workshop at the prestigious International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare, in London between 21 and 24 April.

“ePIFFany” (Effective Prescribing Insight for the Future) was developed by Dr Rakesh Patel from the University of Leicester and was pioneered at Leicester General Hospital. With funding and support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN), Health Education East Midlands (HEEM) and Pfizer, the innovative project is to be launched later this year in two Lincolnshire hospitals, and could soon be spread to other areas of the UK.

“ePIFFany” – which replicates principles used by Team Sky to win the Tour De France two years running – was developed in response to evidence showing junior doctors in their foundation years make prescribing errors at up to twice the rate of other health professionals; risking patient safety and leading to people staying in hospital longer than they need to.

“Traditionally the training of junior doctors is very highly pressured,” explained Dr Patel. “For young professionals working alongside expert and highly qualified consultants this can lead to a lack of confidence and an intimidating environment in which people don’t feel able to ask questions. This can impact on their well-being and enthusiasm and I felt strongly that it was not the best way to develop and nurture our young health professionals in their first few days on a new ward.”

Initially developed as a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, “ePIFFany” is to be rolled out later this year by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and Lincoln County Hospital.

The training focuses on team working, feedback and technology-enhanced learning to enable large gains in performance from a series of small changes. “The results in Leicester were very encouraging,” said Dr Patel. “The length of stay in hospital of patients was reduced, the potential cost saving from avoiding medication errors was £300,000 and the junior doctors reported that they were more confident and enthusiastic throughout their work.”

In 2014 “ePIFFany” won the Frontline Staff award at EMAHSN’s Innovation in Healthcare Awards. EMAHSN Managing Director, Professor Rachel Munton, said: “We are always keen to identify healthcare innovation and support its rapid spread, improving services for patients. The East Midlands has a growing reputation for innovation and Dr Patel’s inspirational project is an excellent example of the transformational work being developed by frontline staff across the region.”

One junior doctor taking part in the pilot scheme in Leicester was Dr Rachel Stanbrook, currently in Foundation Year 2 of her training at Leicester Royal Infirmary. She feels that taking part in “ePIFFany” helped build her confidence.

“The benefit of the training was having dedicated time to learn in a supportive and controlled environment with individuals who really believed in what they were doing,” she said. “We were given in depth and thorough feedback and would go through scenarios we had taken part in, step by step. This resource is invaluable for trainee doctors, as it allows us to have a platform for discussion with focused individual learning. It certainly built up my confidence for the long term.”

As well as improved training techniques, the project also aims to increase junior doctors’ well-being, ensuring they stay in the East Midlands and to see it as a great place to build their career.



  1. Dr Rakesh Patel is NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Medical Education at the University of Leicester and Honorary Specialist Registrar in Nephrology at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
  2. About the partners:
  • One of 15 Academic Health Science Networks in England, EMAHSN brings together the NHS, universities, industry and social care to transform the health of the region’s 4.5M residents and stimulate wealth. Priorities focus on innovations that address health challenges including obesity, diabetes, mental health, respiratory disease, cancer, stroke and frail older people. For more visit or @EM_AHSN
  • HEEM develops a quality, safe & sustainable workforce with the best possible education and training for students, trainees and staff. It brings together the NHS, social care and third sector, working on large scale change. For information visit or@EastMidsLETB
  • Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical company working to develop medicines, vaccines and healthcare products. It provided funding to support the pilot ePIFFany project and has entered into a joint working agreement to support effective implementation of the intervention at UHL and across other acute NHS trusts. For more information visit the collaboration page at

Media enquiries: Chris Taylor or Lucy Hose


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