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G209(P) Empowering foundation doctors to ‘make a difference’; a pilot of a quality improvement course for foundation year one doctors
  1. BG Pearson1,
  2. A Girolami2,
  3. IH Illingworth1,
  4. C Dickinson1
  1. 1Yorkshire Foundation School, Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Patient Safety & Quality Improvement, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, Sheffield, UK



  1. To provide foundation doctors with the skills and attitudes to be proactive in addressing quality improvement (QI) in their own workplace.

  2. To deliver an interactive and fun training day on QI.

Methods The course was piloted for 60 Foundation Year one doctors. The course started with an introduction to quality and quality improvement projects (QIP). The interactive sessions included a ‘paper airplane factory challenge’1 to highlight inefficiencies occurring within a process. The ‘marshmallow challenge’2 session was used to highlight the benefit of prototyping. The final afternoon session involved discussions about areas for QI in their own workplace.

Results Pre-course feedback demonstrated over 60% of respondents had not received QI training, but yet 50% have attempted a QIP. Post-course feedback was overwhelmingly positive; many reported they now understand the concept of QIP. Delegates stated the ‘airplane factory’ helped most to understand the concept of analysing processes to improve an outcome. Delegates also reported enthusiasm to seek opportunities for QI in their own workplace.


  1. QI can be delivered in an interactive way

  2. QIPs are more likely to be successful if people break the task up into smaller steps and expect setbacks, which this course reinforces.


  1. Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge MA: Chapter Activity: – The paper airplane factory. [cited 2013 Nov 8]; Available from

  2. Tom Wujec, Marshmallow challenge. [cited 2013 Nov 8]; Available from

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