Our fellows are working collaboratively with colleagues within their PCNs and across the system on a range of projects including, improving weight management services, primary care occupational health provision, supporting new mental health practitioners, improving management of patients with long term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, exploring children’s mental health services within the community, setting up a community dermatology service, reducing the carbon footprint in respiratory prescribing and improving health inequalities in a range of settings such as childhood immunisations, cervical screening, screening for patients with learning disabilities and primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Reflections from a mid-career fellow
“Project work? What does that mean?,” I thought to myself when I read the PCN Fellowship advert. In fact, I applied for the role at the last moment because I was worried that I did not have the necessary expertise. It was indeed a leap into the unknown, but don’t let that put you off. In fact, for me, its nebulous nature turned out to be one of the Fellowship’s strengths: it evolves under your direction… You shape it even though you may be dealing with a multitude of factors outside of your control. The Phoenix Project team were excellent at providing a structure, with a comprehensive introductory session, monthly group catch-up sessions and ad hoc one-to-one supervision.
I had the time and head-space to think creatively, responding to some real PCN needs that no-one else had the capacity to solve. I learnt about the NHS organisational structure, forged new networking ties and dipped my toe in NHS politics. This experience allowed me to apply for a CCG role; without the PCN Fellowship, I would not have had much of the desired qualities. This PCN Fellowship can be a doorway to a fulfilling portfolio career. I also got a letter published about my project in Pulse magazine that inspired a Pulse article and contributed to a national debate!
At the end of year I shared my learning with my PCN through my work log that I updated every month. I attended a celebratory evening meeting with the other Fellows and presented my project as a 5-minute PowerPoint. It was fascinating to see the range of the projects completed by the other Fellows, from work on cancer screening to obesity management to occupational health. That meeting inspired me to learn how to produce a poster to present future work. In fact, I loved this whole experience so much that I applied to do it for another year. This time I will be exploring a Place Based Partnership approach to Health Inequalities; quite uncharted territory, really.
It is worth also mentioning the generous remuneration and bursary. I spent my £500 bursary on resources as diverse as an online Lifestyle Prescribing Course, books on self development and a detailed Enneagram report. I am very excited to see how I grow professionally and personally over the next year. I would certainly recommend the PCN Fellowship to any mid term GP who feels like they would like to challenge themselves, particularly those wanting to pursue a portfolio career.
If you have any feedback about the scheme, please email us.