Physician associates in general practice
Physician associates (PAs) are new members of the clinical team, complementary to GPs rather than a substitute.
They can fulfil an enabling role in general practice, taking on certain areas of workload, helping to free GPs to focus on the more complex patient cases as well as other staff, such as nurses so they can focus on their areas of competency. This means that GPs can continue to lead multi-disciplinary teams to adapt to the evolving healthcare needs of patients in response to the growing and ageing population.
This does not mitigate the need to address the shortage of GPs or reduce the need for other practice staff. Instead physician associates can help to broaden the capacity of the GP role and skill mix within the practice team to deliver patient care.
Studies from general practice in both England and Scotland have shown physician associates to be safe, effective and liked by patients.
CQC inspections include this role to check the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment (key line of enquiry E3).
To find out more about the role of physician associates and how they fit into the practice team, visit Who are physician associates?
There is a lot of general information that as a GP or practice manager you may find useful. The employer’s guide is an 8 page document intended to advise on:
- The current education and regulatory framework for the profession
- Employment and supervision
- Tools to help guide appraisal, career and salary progression
- Recommendations for continuing professional development (CPD)