Clinician Spotlight: Mike Passfield
Date: 10 Mar 2022
Author: Mike Passfield
Mike Passfield is a Clinical Operations Director and Head of Integrated Contraception, Sexual Health & HIV for a regional provider organisation. We talk to Mike about his involvement in a large-scale programme that has helped deliver over 1.3 million Covid-19 vaccinations, his day-to-day life within sexual health, and his involvement in FSRH and the Clinical Standards Committee.
Tell us about yourself...
Substantively, I am the Head of Integrated Contraception, Sexual Health & HIV for a regional provider organisation. A role that I have held for eight years, having joined the speciality from primary and community care. With limited knowledge of the speciality, I embarked on a challenge to learn a new clinical area as well as integrate a new contract of six providers into our organisation. Over the last eight years, the service has moved from a singular provision to a large regional provider of integrated sexual and reproductive healthcare. I’m also pleased to say that my knowledge of the specialty has also successfully improved.
Since the pandemic, I have been redeployed in response to Covid-19 and currently work as the Clinical Operations Director for one of the three leading providers for large scale vaccination centres across the East of England region.
In October 2020, I was asked to lead the Trust’s Covid-19 vaccination programme for a ‘few months’ to initiate temporary large-scale vaccination hubs, in conjunction with primary care networks (general practice and pharmacy sites) and hospital hubs.
I never expected to embark on a challenge such as this in my career. Some 16 months later and with 11 centres running, I am proud to be part of a programme which has delivered over 1.3 million vaccinations to our population. There is no doubt that at times this has felt like being in unchartered waters, with significant time and resource pressures – pretty much like an extended and ongoing episode of Challenge Aneka!
And outside of work?
Outside of work I have several interests, including local government, having served as a councillor for 8 years and elected major for 2. Whilst I am no longer a councillor, I am still closely linked to local government as Vice President for an organisation that supports and advocates on behalf of local councils (first tier of government).
I am also heavily involved with the national charity, St John Ambulance, and following a 28-year membership, I am currently one of the Associate Medical Directors supporting the organisation's clinical strategy.
How did you get involved with working with FSRH?
Currently, I chair the Clinical Standards Committee (CSC) for the faculty and have worked alongside the organisation for just over 3 years. I was initially encouraged to join CSC by a colleague due to my involvement in the development of clinical policy and organisational leadership in my role as Head of Integrated Contraception, Sexual Health & HIV. Since joining as a member of the committee, I was soon nominated to pick up from Dr Helen Munro, the previous Chair of CSC and now Vice President for Clinical Standards.
I have supported other functions and sub-working groups within the faculty, which has been a great opportunity to meet faculty colleagues, as well as support the operational and strategy agendas that help to shape the future of both the faculty and our speciality.
Give us a day in the life of your role
No day within my sexual health role tends to be the same. Leading a service that is large in terms of geography, activity and workforce tends to bring new challenges, opportunity and smiles every day.
The complexity of working across a number of local authorities also keeps me on my feet. Whilst I am lucky to have good working relationships with my commissioning colleagues, there are always the pressures of population health, financial pressures, and political demands to contend with. Whilst this is not unique to my service, or sexual health more generally, it does take up significant time.
Luckily I have a great leadership team that supports me in the form of senior clinicians, operational leaders, clinical systems and service support functions such as HR and finance. Without a multidisciplinary leadership function, I would unable to successfully lead and drive our service forward.
Getting out and about
As well as the strategic requirements of my role day-to-day, I relish in the opportunity of getting out and meeting staff across our sites and I am often popping in to say hello and see first-hand the fabulous work our dedicated teams deliver to our patients.
If I'm not doing that, then I am prepping for one of our clinical standards committee meetings. We hold at least four meetings a year with a dynamic team of very experienced clinicians. We shape the clinical standards that're there to support clinicians and employers, so they can deliver the very best standard of evidence-based care. We are closely linked with the clinical effectiveness unit, who produce the clinical guidelines that sit hand-in-hand with the standards that're produced.
I’m forever amazed at the work my fellow committee colleagues undertake and the time commitment they provide in support of the faculties work - all of which is unpaid and alongside their busy day jobs. My thanks go to each any every one of all the current and past colleagues that I have worked with during my time, particularly those over the last 18 months.
We aim to review 3 standards a year, alongside the development of any new standards that may be identified. We are also keen to work with other organisations to influence SRH practice and standards development, such as NHS England & NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practice and, of course, our close colleagues at the British Association of Sexual Health & HIV.
All of this has been under the watch of Dr Diana Mansour, former Vice President of Clinical Standards, and now, Dr Helen Munro, the current VP. The committee is supported by the amazing team of External Affairs officers - and my thanks to Alanna and Lorna who have supported me through the last 3 years and hopefully the next 3 years!
And finally, you’re stranded on a desert island - what are the three objects you’ll take?
Great question. To really survive on a deserted island, one must have sufficient tools for survival. I was never a boy scout and therefore not very practical, but utilising my days in government and politics means I can be resourceful in answering questions without answering the question!
1. Things to keep me updated
2. Things to help me service
3. Things to help me feel comfortable