Response on physician associate regulation
The presidents of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA), have responded to the opening of a consultation on the regulation of physician associates.
The consultation has been announced today by the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt.
Professor Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, commented:
The RCP has called for regulation of physician associates for years and we warmly welcome this positive step from the Department of Health on the road towards introducing statutory regulation of physician associates.
We believe regulation is required in order to ensure and enhance patient safety, and to make the most of the talents and skills that physician associates bring to the teams in which they work.
The RCP will be responding to the consultation recommending that the government introduce statutory regulation for physician associates, and will be encouraging our members and fellows to do the same.
Jeannie Watkins, president of the FPA, added:
We are delighted with the announcement from the secretary of state for health today that the Department of Health is opening a consultation on the regulation of physician associates.
Put simply, regulation will provide a legally accountable framework for patient safety, the setting of standards and ensuring fitness to practise. While this is currently overseen by the FPA through the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR), such matters cannot be legally enforced without statutory regulation.
Introducing regulation will enable physician associates to work to the full scope of the role, easing the workload burden on the medical team, and supporting doctors in the provision of high-quality care to patients.
We will be encouraging all of our members, the physician associate profession and those working with physician associates to respond positively to the consultation calling for the regulation of the profession.
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