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PA Celebration Week - Entry 2


Ricky Staniland ((PA-R) NWPAF Chairperson)




First and foremost, I would like to thank you all for being an integral part the North West Physician Associate Forum! We as an ever-growing and evolving workforce require a voice to support; advocate and drive progress across the region. It fills me with pride to see the forum; its committee, and networks contribute to the wider workforce development. It goes without saying that we are certainly sitting on the foundations of the forum in its early stages; something that one year ago, did not exist. It is with your continued support; input and feedback that will allow for momentum that will influence change in a way that allows for the utilisation and innovation of the workforce across the region.

For those of you that have not met me, I am Ricky Staniland, a Physician Associate working in General Practice across Salford Primary Care Together. A particular aspect of the role I am passionate about is the wide variety of backgrounds and thus skills we bring to the workforce. For context, my academic background is in Chemistry followed by teaching, and finally the pharmaceutical industry prior to training to be a Physician Associate at the University of Manchester.

Primary care was never an environment I was set on working in until I experienced the reality of what it involves day-day. As a student, I was placed in Salford Primary Care Together where I was given the opportunity to support; compliment and innovate the way in which the MDT looked. It was towards the end of my Preparing for Professional Practice placement that I put together a business case having never written one before to help obtain funding. This then led to a position for a Physician Associate and here I am today working in a role that is exactly where I see my future career.

It is clear from conversations with my fellow colleagues in General Practice that there is certainly no one way of utilising Physician Associates - we are an innovative role after all. Almost weekly I hear about alternative ways our generalist workforce is being utilised to meet the demands of services and ultimately patients across primary care. A typical week for me involves six undifferentiated clinics seeing patients ranging from acute to chronic. In addition to such clinics, I am involved in acute home visiting; triaging as duty clinician; processing Docman letters; interpreting results and private work. I am also assigned clinician for some of our GSF (end-of-life care) patients as well as safeguarding patients. This involves attending MDTs/professional meetings to both advocate for the patients and their health and wellbeing.

In addition to my clinical responsibilities, I also work for the Enhanced Training Practice (ETP) for Salford and Trafford which involves delivering training to the healthcare workforce across the neighbourhoods ranging from influenza updates; interpreting blood results; clinical decision making and many more courses in the planning stages. In alliance with the ETP and the University of Salford, I am now leading on the Foundation in General Practice Nursing course where I am responsible for teaching Cardiovascular Disease; Men's Health and assessment for the course with the RCGP. This opportunity was something that I was provided with given my previous experience in teaching exemplifying how our previous experience can shape and innovate our roles as Physician Associates.

As chairperson of the forum, I want to ensure that going forward we deliver on what you ask to the best of our ability. I propose that we post on social media prior to each committee meeting to ensure you are able to raise anything you wish to be discussed within the forum's committee. In addition, I promise you that going forward we will put together a newsletter to keep you updated on the work that takes place behind the scenes across HEE; Higher Educational Institutes in collaboration with the forum.

For those of you that are unable to make the National RCP FPA Conference, I promise to provide an update on the salient messages delivered including the announcement by Una Lane, director of registration and revalidation for the GMC who is delivering the plenary session on day two of the conference.

Exciting times are ahead for Physician Associates!