Maurice comments on UCO and BCNO Group statements
Maurice Cheng, Chief Executive Officer comments:
A number of you will have noticed that both the UCO and BCNO Group (ESO and BCOM) have issued statements about their future development this week.
The UCO has now announced discussions around a merger with the AECC University in Bournemouth, and the BCNO Group plans to reorganise how their two sites are used, in London and Kent.
Since the initial announcements from the UCO in July and August this year, the President Glynis Fox and I have reached out to the senior management at both the UCO and AECC and have had discussions also with other schools, including the BCNO group so that we can be as familiar as we can about the reasons driving these changes, the options for continuity and development that are available, and the impact this will have on students and student recruitment.
Our job at the iO will be to continue to engage with these changes, to ensure that the profession’s interests and concerns are always represented and that our unique osteopathic approach to healthcare is maintained.
‘Our job at the iO will be to continue to engage with these changes, to ensure that the profession’s interests and concerns are always represented and that our unique osteopathic approach to healthcare is maintained.’
Undoubtedly, some of our cherished schools are going through very difficult times. Still, we must also bear in mind that the profession is in high demand at present and that it is important to ensure that when the undergraduate market starts to recover, and in particular in the health sector, we as a profession continue to be buoyant, upbeat and proud about what we are, and what we deliver to our patients and society.
Glynis and I have also spent time with many osteopaths – alumni of the UCO and others – who have grave concerns about what changes in these major schools mean for the future of the profession. Will this mean the merger of osteopathy with chiropractic? With physiotherapy? A takeover by the NHS? The lessening of standards? Are standards declining because new graduates can’t answer the key question that I ask all associates at interviews? By the way, the answer to all of the above is a firm ‘No!’. We are going through an evolution, not to a funeral.
We need to celebrate what we are and what we are good at and seek to understand from those who trained at a different school, or a different age of training, what new skills they may have, and to discuss and work to reinforce each other’s osteopathic strengths. The biggest inspiration for the next generation of osteopaths, the school leaver who is interested in a career in health, or a therapist who sees osteopathy as the next stage in a career pathway, is you, the osteopath. Let us all make sure that we all inspire. Then we will all grow.