Effective Professional Interactions has a team of expert facilitators who ensure that the training is delivered to the highest possible standard.


Effective Professional Interactions has a team of expert facilitators who ensure that the training is delivered to the highest possible standard.

Dr Malcolm Thomas

Malcolm Thomas was a GP principal for 14 years in a 10,000 patient teaching practice in Northumberland.

He has held posts with Newcastle University Medical School and has been extensively involved in GP Training, culminating in 6 years as Associate Director of Postgraduate GP Education in the Northern Deanery in Newcastle upon Tyne. He first discovered some aptitude for coaching as a rowing coach while he was at Cambridge University – one of his crews represented Great Britain.

His main clinical and teaching interest has always been the challenge of fashioning effective and time efficient consultations with patients. This led to his founding EPI in 2003 – to specialise in developing high quality and practical training focusing on this outcome.

Mrs Louise Graham

Louise Graham MA (Hons) – Managing Director & Non-Clinical Lead for EPI qualified as a nurse in 1986, she started working for EPI in 2007 and currently develops and runs training for non-clinical staff in responding to patients (GP receptionists, hospital ward/clinical clerks etc.)

Since 2012 she has also been involved in teaching clinicians as teachers. Louise is a facilitator with extensive experience in identifying, designing, delivering and evaluating practice organisational and development needs. Over the last 10 years she has worked with a wide range of individuals and organisations within the NHS, providing learning solutions and training frameworks including – customer service, communication skills, effective teaching skills, and many more.  She has explored and developed materials using many different methods of learning and assessment interventions. Louise also has an Award in Adult Education and Training. She has developed strong leadership and communication skills over the course of her career which underpin her ability to engage people at all levels and support their development.

Dr Steve Blades

Steve was a GP principal in a large training practice for nearly 20 years. He has held a number of clinical leadership roles including Chair of the Professional Executive Committee of Newcastle Primary Care Trust. He has extensive experience of clinical commissioning.

Steve is a trained executive coach and now has a portfolio career combining some clinical work with an extensive coaching practice working with individuals and teams. He also runs leadership development programmes and other training focused on increasing the effectiveness of individuals and teams at work. He has a particular interest in Solutions Focused approaches.

Steve is a very experienced GP appraiser and also works as a GP Tutor supporting the training and quality assurance of appraisal.

Dr Jonathan Pickard

Dr Jonathan Pickard is a specialist registrar in palliative medicine working in the North East. Graduating from Newcastle University in 2010, Jonathan furthered an interest in teaching by completing a postgraduate certificate in medical education with distinction and gained subsequent accreditation as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He regularly develops and delivers education and training to undergraduates, postgraduates and allied health professionals with a particular interest and focus on effective communication within his field of palliative medicine.

His presentation style and creativity is derived from years of professional level close-up performance magic, which Jonathan has enjoyed as a unique hobby for well over 15 years.

Dr Avril Danczak

Dr Avril Danczak is a GP and GP/Primary Care Medical Educator in central Manchester, and has years of experience as a GP trainer, GP appraiser and as a GP tutor.

She currently delivers Study Release Courses for GPs in training, training for consultants in managing trainees in difficulty and is working with members of the NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre on projects researching diagnosis and uncertainty in Primary Care.

She delivers Master Classes for GP trainers across the North West Region and has trained in the Calgary Cambridge Method at the Madingley Consultation skills course.

She is co author of ” Mapping Uncertainty in Medicine: what do you do when you don’t know what to do?” (RCGP books).  She is regularly invited to deliver popular workshops and training days about uncertainty in clinical practice across the country.

Dr Ged Corcoran

Dr Ged Corcoran was Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Aintree University Hospitals and Medical Director of Woodlands Hospice in Liverpool from 1993 until his retirement in 2012.

Since then he has continued to deliver seminars and lectures about palliative care in the UK, Sweden and Finland. He is a part-time lecturer at Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool (MCPCIL) and a Visiting Professor in Bioethics at St Georges University, Grenada, West Indies.

Alison Craggs

Alison is a qualified organisation and people development practitioner with extensive experience in identifying, designing, delivering and evaluating organisational and people development needs. Over the last 15 years she has worked with a wide range of individuals and organisations across many different sectors including the NHS providing learning solutions and training frameworks across leadership and management, change management, customer service, communication skills, resilience and wellbeing, coaching and mentoring, and many more. She has explored and developed materials using many different methods of learning and assessment interventions including face to face training, e-learning and work-based learning, drama based training, 1:1 coaching and action learning. Alison is also an accredited facilitator of Thomas International Profiling tools and Team Management Systems (TMS) tools.

Elizabeth Wick

Elizabeth Wick was a Practice Manager in a Sheffield GP practice for almost 16 years. She has extensive knowledge and experience of Primary Care and has particular interest in the non-clinical training and development of reception staff and the development of Practice Managers.

After leaving her practice in February 2014, Elizabeth joined the Care Quality Commission as a Practice Manager Specialist Advisor, working in the Primary Medical Services directorate. She attended GP inspection visits as a member of the team and part of her role was to interview the Practice Managers and reception staff.

Elizabeth joined EPI in December 2016 as a facilitator, to deliver non-clinical training. She continues in her role with the Care Quality Commission, sits on a NICE guideline committee, is a lay member of the Advisory Group at the Royal College of Ophthalmology where she also sits on the Training & Education committees and has involvement with the RNIB, guest speaking at events on living with sight loss.

Rebecca Railton

Rebecca Railton qualified in 2003 and worked in A & E nursing at Manchester Royal Infirmary for three years.

She then went on to work in various A & E departments in Australia.

In 2008 Rebecca moved into Community Nursing, a post that she held for six years. It was in this role that she was introduced to palliative and end of life care, and she moved into this field in 2014 as a Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, providing palliative and end of life care, including emergencies.

Rebecca also works in community and out of hours palliative care and facilitates EPI’s End of Life Care training course.

Dave Hotchin

Dave Hotchin is a practicing Advanced Practitioner in Salford, and is an Honorary Lecturer in The School of Nursing and Midwifery, at Plymouth University. Since qualifying as a nurse in 1989, Dave has been at the forefront of nursing and primary care development.

He is a keen advocate for challenging the traditional constraints and boundaries contained within traditional health care professions and delivery systems, in an attempt to deliver safe, effective, evidence based care to the population he serves.

David resides in the South West of England, where he pursues his interests in swimming, surfing and photography.​

Paul English

Paul is a facilitator, trainer and lean six sigma consultant with considerable NHS and pharmaceutical industry experience. His work aims to support change in individuals, teams and organisations. He has a particular interest in changing patient behaviour and regularly delivers training and education sessions to clinicians, specifically health behaviour change in patients with diabetes.

Paul originally qualified as a nurse in 1980 and specialised in renal dialysis and transplant, both in the UK and overseas. A developing interest in the organisation of care led to the role of clinical governance manager at a large university teaching hospital, where he helped design and introduce governance structure.

Typical facilitation projects include UK pharmaceutical product launch planning, NHS change projects including diabetes strategy, MDT process redesign and development days. Paul is a Prince 2 practitioner and an NLP master practitioner.

Dr Zoe Neill

Zoe qualified as a doctor in 1998 and has worked in hospital medicine and in Primary Care. She has been a full-time GP since 2003 and was a partner at Gibson Lane Practice from 2006-2014. She has experience in teaching in Primary Care and was her practice lead for Foundation doctor trainees. Zoe’s practice has successfully implemented the NHS Healthchecks progamme and has been doing them for several years. Zoe is now a freelance GP, and trainer for Effective Professional Interactions. Zoe has completed accredited training as a coach with the Yorkshire Deanery and is now coaching doctors in West Yorkshire for Health Education Yorkshire and Humber.

Dr Sarah Coope

Sarah has been a GP principal in East Yorkshire since 2002 and an appraiser since 2009.

She has developed a special interest in communication skills and has undertaken training in coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, CBT and Motivational Interviewing.

She has experience as a facilitator with MDU workshops and the RCGP Practitioner Health certificate programme. She also teaches medical students.

Sarah is building up her coaching practice by completing accredited training from the Yorkshire Deanery, to work with doctors in training (and at all career stages) who want to achieve their potential and increase their personal effectiveness.

Dr Felicity Dewhurst

Felicity Dewhurst is a Palliative Care Specialist Registrar in the Northern Deanery. Felicity trained in Geriatrics prior to transferring specialty.

Felicity regularly runs teaching sessions on palliative care for postgraduates (of varying levels and professions) and undergraduates. She has supervised students completing intercalated degrees and has examined medical students.

As part of her MD she designed, organised and led a regional teaching programme for multi-professional health workers and non-medical personnel in northern Tanzania. This was concerning the diagnosis and management of non-communicable diseases, teaching specifically on neurological disorders and dementia. The programme has led to local capacity building.

She has presented her research nationally and internationally.

Dr Jennifer Vidrine

Jennifer Vidrine is a consultant in palliative medicine in Newcastle upon Tyne, predominantly in the care of those with a cancer diagnosis.

She graduated from the university of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2007 and has worked throughout the Northeast since.

She teaches communication skills at a variety of levels, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and is passionate about empowering healthcare professionals now and in the future to have the most rewarding and patient centred interactions with the patients in their care.

When not working she is a keen singer, performing locally on a regular basis, and negotiating with two small children.