Pharmaceutical Medicine is a vital speciality for the health of the public. As Chair of the Founding Committee of FPM, my belief in its critical role was strong and has progressively grown. During my role as Vice President I have been involved in various projects on behalf of FPM including the COVID 19 working party, representing FPM on the AMRoC sepsis working part, the clinical trials resilience group and the equality and diversity working party. I now stand for election as President of the FPM to drive its rapidly evolving role forward.
My two priorities would be
1) Provide science support and medical education
The specialty has as its mission “to advance the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine through empowering its members to set the highest scientific and ethical standards to help unlock the full potential of new medicines and make sure they are as beneficial and safe as possible for patients”.
The Faculty supports its members to help them play an important role in healthcare and to develop, utilise and disseminate their skills and knowledge across, not only pharmaceutical physicians, but also all medical specialities and disciplines. All pharmaceutical physicians should meet high standards and should be leading standards in other specialities. Through its membership FPM should be on the cutting edge of the development of scientific wisdom. In the COVID 19 pandemic, the Faculty has taken a leading role in therapeutics, preventives and diagnostics in respiratory infection and I would like to see this continue to be one of our priorities. I would also like us to support greater investment in women’s health. We should seek out the world-renowned experts amongst our membership and involve them in FPM projects, thus encouraging new members to join in order to learn from role models and mentors. In this regard I would like to upgrade the role of the Head of the Policy and Communications group and support the reforms being brought in by the current Chair.
In training and education the Faculty offers the new curriculum, the digitising of the examinations and training from Boyd consultants both on line. Investment in this area could allow us to extend short courses well beyond pharmaceutical medicine and the UK. A review of funding of these activities together with the new Education Manager, could allow these projects to become profitable and offer an excellent service to support our members, who may get access free. The initiatives for collaborative training programmes to support university and healthcare translational projects should be further supported with the relationships with Brighton, Liverpool, Oxford maturing and building on the more established relationships with Kings College, NIHR, the NHS and the International collaborations, including IFAPP. In this regard I would like to see the Head of the Education and Standards Committee be given additional support and a careful review of succession planning in both the Education and Examinations conducted to ensure this part of the Faculty can be grown and be sustainable.
2) Robustness of growth, governance and financial stability
Encouraging new Members is essential. The project to support this exercise is critical to the survival of the Faculty. There are many aspects to this project, for example understanding where pharmaceutical physicians work and what their needs are, re-introducing Fellowship by distinction and encouraging those who have left the Faculty to return and explain why they left. Careful review of resource is needed for this project and its continuation as the Registrar role switches is something I will be keen to ensure happens.
Revalidation brings in a substantial revenue into the Faculty and remains at a very high standard. But it must keep pace with other FPM initiatives to make these activities more efficient and user friendly. Within the strict constraints of the GMC these need to be monitored. Successional planning is important due to the financial implications of the activity.
The CEO has grown her team both in responsibility and number and obtained support for the new CRM and MIS system. The roles and integration of employees and volunteer members is now well advanced. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), such as the equity and diversity project and other ethics activities would be part of my ambitions for sustainability. I intend to give more support to the FPM employee team and the volunteer officers and support fund raising by re-establishing relationships with big pharma and other potential funding groups.