Physician associates in general practice

Physician associates (PAs) are a relatively new member of the clinical team, seen as complementary to GPs rather than a substitute. Following the announcement of the General Medical Council (GMC) to regulate physician associates, the ministerial statement outlines the next part of the consultation process to regulate the role under statute. The UK and devolved governments are now working together alongside stakeholders to develop and then consult on draft legislation. It’s anticipated that regulation could be completed by the end of 2021. Once this is in place, PAs will be able to prescribe and order radiology investigations. The Physician Associate role is in no way a replacement for any other member of the general practice team. They work in conjunction with and are complementary to the existing team. GPs will continue to lead multi-disciplinary teams, adapting to the evolving primary care networks. (PCNs)

By employing a PA, it does not mitigate the need to address the shortage of GPs or reduce the need for other practice staff. They can help to broaden the capacity of the GP role and skill mix within the practice team to help address the needs of patients in response to the growing and ageing population.

There is a lot of general information in the employers section including An employer's guide to physician associates. It is strongly recommended that GP practices only consider recruiting physician associates who are registered on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR).

Local Contacts

There is a lot of general information in the  employers section , that as a GP or practice manager you may find useful. You can also watch videos of physician associates talking about their work in general practice .

Your local  Health Education England (HEE) area leads

Please get in touch if you need more national or local information, discuss ideas or help answer your questions.

PA courses and local contacts 

University programmes