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Physician Associates Placement update

The East Berkshire Community Education Provider Networks (CEPN) is working to improve the education capacity and capability in primary care and community care settings including development of multi-disciplinary educators and creating learner placements in practice. In order to create learner placements in practices and map out education providers network, the East Berkshire CEPN has effectively engaged with different education providers such as:

  • Reading University
  • Oxford Brooks University
  • East Berkshire College
  • Health Education South
  • Bucks University
  • University of West London
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From the CEPN perspective the initial focus has subsequently been the gathering of information regarding the various roles, analysing current placement data and to enable a better understanding of the implications for recruitment into primary care. This has entailed looking at the current healthcare students specifically Physician’s Associates within the primary care arena and mapping them against the direction of travel that the CCGs are taking based on the workforce needs.

A Physician Associate (PA) is a new healthcare professional who works to the medical model, with attitude, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision. East Berkshire primary care does not have sufficient Physician’s Associates placements as compare to its neighbour CCGs such as West Berkshire which currently have 11 PA placements.

Reviewing National and local workforce trends we are aware that some of the challenges we are facing specifically in primacy care workforce are:

  • Ageing workforce in primary care
  • Shortage of GPs, Consultants, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners across primary care
  • Increasing workloads in primary care which are set to increase further with transformations in out of hospital care
  • Increasing work-life balance expectations of newly qualified and younger GP workforce
  • Innovation and support the development of skills mix
  • Provision for a broader range of skills to continue to support patient access and quality

In order to address these challenges one of the key national driver is to set up Physical Associates (PA), placements at general practices. As Secretary of State, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP confirmed in June 2015 the ‘New Deal for General Practice ‘in which he outlines:

  • Detailed how the skills mix will be vital in order to ensure GPs are supported in their work by other practitioners
  • Confirmed plans to ensure 1000 Physician Associates are available to work in GP by September 2020

To address current pressures we face at our primary care and creating a sustainable primary care sector the CEPN is working with Reading University to create placements at EAST Berkshire practices. Prior to the CEPN there was only 1 placements and the University was unable to engage effectively to East Berkshire practices.

Since the networking has been established between the CEPN and the Reading University we have been able to engage with 19 training practices across 3 CCGs and are expecting to have 11 placements in place for this academic year, so far 11 practices have registered their expression of interest with via CEPN. We have 6 placements confirmed taking placements from Sep 17 and we are anticipating a total of 10 placements for this academic year.

The current East Berkshire practices offering placements are:

Langley Health Centre – 4

DATCHET Health Centre – 2

Farnham Road Surgery – 2

Runnymede Practice – 2

Crosby House Surgery – 2

How to invoice for Top-Up Funding

The practices need to send the invoices to NHS Shared Business Services so that they can be processed on to the Oracle system for payment, the document below has the billing address where the invoices need to be sent

Invoice, Billing and Query Guidance

Feedback From Reading Univeristy

"The Physician Associate PGDip Course organisers at Reading University would like to thank the East Berkshire CCGs/CEPN for their extra support for practices that have offered placements for our first and second-year students. We have had a fantastic response from the practices in East Berkshire which has enabled us to offer placements to the increased number of new students this year straight away.

The effort that Samreen Aslam has made informing and encouraging practices has helped significantly with recruiting new placement providers and is very much appreciated.Thank you for all your hard work Sam"

Dr Richard Perry

Course Lecturer, Physician Associate PGDip Programme,University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus. Room 103, JJ Thomson Building. Reading, RG6 6AH

Tel: 0118 378 6819

richard.perry@reading.ac.uk