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. In October 2018, the secretary of state for health and social care announced the introduction of statutory regulation for physician associates and physician assistants in anaesthesia, following direct engagement with the NHS workforce. 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). 

Useful resources

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.

University programmes

FAQs

Downloads

The following resources are for guidance and may be adapted as required.