Following consultation, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that they will ask the General Medical Council (GMC) to regulate physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs) across the UK.
It is hoped that regulation will permit these professionals to:
- work to their full potential and provide the very best care to patients as part of a multidisciplinary clinical team; and
- contribute to the development of a safe and flexible workforce.
These roles are part of the medical associate professionals (MAPs) group, which also include surgical care practitioners and advanced critical care practitioners.
The decision follows a consultation on regulation of MAPs roles to which NHS Employers responded on behalf of employers.
NHS Employers has been working with employers to understand how PAs and AAs (and the other MAPs roles) currently add to the workforce, their future potential, and what employers deem to be the appropriate extent of practice and levels of regulations for each role in the group.
The UK and devolved government will work together with stakeholders to discuss and consult on draft legislation. NHS Employers will continue to engage in this work.