Whilst Physician Associates have been in employment within the NHS for a number of years, outside of those provided by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the RCP there are few (if any) programmes of personal improvement for them to take advantage of; of the training schemata that exist for physician associates the majority focus on the 'clinical' skills aspect.
The 'On Becoming' programme aims to activate humanistic principles within a shared kinship of care; a care which is felt and expressed. Investing within person centred care for healthcare workers and in-turn to care for patients. This can be linked to the NHS Constitution where it states:
'The NHS belongs to the people. It is there to improve our health and wellbeing, supporting us to keep mentally and physically well, to get better when we are ill, and, when we cannot fully recover, to stay as we can to the end of our lives...... it touches our lives at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matters most .....the NHS is founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the community and the people it serves; patients and public and the staff who work for it (1,2)'
The 'On Becoming' programme is an essential pathfinder in bringing opportunities for physician associates to the fore. Physician associates are currently an unregulated body, but with regulation coming in the near future we can expect a formal requirement for them to have to complete a requisite number of CPD points; whether this will follow in the format currently used for the FPARCP voluntary register remains to be seen. By coming into being shortly prior to the aforementioned regulation, the 'On Becoming' programme stands to stake a claim as one of the preeminent programmes on empowerment and leadership.
The programme itself runs over 4 modules. Precursory to these modules, participants will have an informal 'interview' with a member of the faculty, these take place via Skype. Whilst it is a requirement to have an 'interview', these are not assessing participants' suitability to the programme but more for both they and the faculty to get a feel for each other prior to meeting in module 1.
Module 1 runs over two full days and introduces a number of concepts to the participants which they may not have come across. It will build on existing skills and seek to enhance their ability to 'listen', introduce leadership fundamentals and social theory amongst others; it will also introduce the concept of praxis groups which will be used throughout the programme and beyond.
Module 2 is a single day. It builds upon what was introduced in module 1, with a focus on the praxis groups. More concepts will be introduced such as the Karpman Diagram.
Module 3 is again two full days. This has a focus on further building your leadership skills and how to coach and mentor those under your care or even work with. Help you to know how to enhance your personal resilience and boost confidence.
Module 4 is just a half day. This is a 'celebration' of all of what has been accomplished over the previous 3 modules and is run by the participants. An 'expert panel' of people of authority are invited to attend and see how you have developed.
1. Ballatt J, Campling P; 2015; Intelligent Kindness; Reforming the Culture of Healthcare RC PSYCH Publications Pg 15
2. Department of Health (2009) The NHS Constitution of England; The NHS Belongs to us all HMSO