Thank you for contacting me about the proposed regulation of anaesthesia associates (AAs) and physician associates (PAs) by the General Medical Council (GMC).
I note your concerns about the training and competence of anaesthesia and physician associates. The physician associate (PA) title has in fact been well established in the United Kingdom since 2014 and the Government has no plans to change the titles of Pas or AAs. The Government’s legislation to allow the GMC to regulate AAs and Pas builds on existing measures being taken to strengthen the training and competency of these roles over the past decade.
Across the two roles, this includes performing some medical procedures, analysing test results, reviewing patients before surgery and ensuring there is a plan for patients after operations. To ensure their competence, during both training and qualified practice Pas and AAs must work with a dedicated medical supervisor which will be a consultant, GP or other senior medical personnel.
I note your concerns about incorrect diagnoses, though it is still the responsibility of the medical supervisor. If you are aware of any deficiency of poor practice by such a supervisor, I suggest you report them to the GMC.
I spoke in committee in favour of less regulation. It will be beneficial for patients. For my contribution, please visit Hansard here: