#RegulatePAsNow campaign update and policy paper launched

Together with The Royal College of Physicians, we recently shared the news that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has proposed a new route forward for regulating physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

In order to avoid further delays to PA regulation, this process has now been uncoupled from ongoing wider regulatory reforms to avoid further delays to PA regulation. Given how disappointing previous delays have been, the commitment to an end date for regulation is a positive step in the journey, and we hope it will have the intended effect of delivering regulation on time. 

Legislative changes are always subject to parliamentary schedules. That means that external events – such as the pandemic, can change how parliamentary time is allocated for numerous pieces of legislation a government passes in a year. 

We welcome the DHSC setting out a new timetable and taking the decision to uncouple the two legislative orders, but we need to continue to remind people of the benefits of PA regulation to ensure this process doesn't lose momentum.

The more we can demonstrate the benefits of regulation and the drawbacks of not being regulated currently, the more we will show that keeping to the new timetable set out by DHSC is a crucial solution to bringing down waiting lists and easing the workforce crisis.  

#RegulatePAsNow

Today, thanks to over 300 PAs and PA students who responded to the #RegulatePAsNow survey, we are publishing a short policy paper physician associates: the case for regulation'.

This will be the key publication we use to raise the profile of PA regulation with MPs once we have a new prime minister on 5 September. It sets out the current barriers we experience as an unregulated profession and shows how regulation will bring official recognition of everything PAs already contribute, enable them to work at their fullest potential, and reduce delays in treatment and care as they gain more autonomy in caring for patients.

We hope that PAs and PA employers will share the paper on social media (FPA Twitter and Facebook) to emphasise the importance of the government sticking to its timeline using the hashtag #RegulatePAsNow. Downloadable FPA-designed social media cards are also available to support messaging. 

Delays are disappointing, but the new approach proposed by DHSC offers hope – we now need to put our collective focus into ensuring that our government delivers it.