In the NHS, the distinction between physician associates (PAs) and doctors is not always clear to patients. PAs can be useful when used correctly within healthcare teams, but they do not possess equivalent medical qualifications as doctors. There is a lack of clarity which not only creates confusion but has also led to some fatal outcomes, as highlighted in a survey conducted by the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK). The survey revealed concerning examples of harmful or bad practice by PAs, underscoring the urgent need for robust regulation and oversight.
Immediate Attention Needed: Potential Legislative Changes
The Government’s current trajectory to bring the regulation of PAs and AAs under the General Medical Council (GMC) is proceeding hastily, with plans to use a statutory instrument on Wednesday 13th December. This expedited process is occurring with inadequate public consultation and bypasses the essential debate in Parliament, raising concerns about the thoroughness and transparency of this significant policy shift. The implications of the regulation of PAs and AAs under the GMC cannot be underestimated and need critical review, especially in light of the DAUK survey results.
Make Your Voice Heard
The voice of each constituent is crucial in highlighting these concerns to MPs. We urge you to contact your MP to convey the critical need for detailed examination and debate of this legislative change. Only through legislative scrutiny can we ensure that patient safety is upheld and the roles within the NHS are clearly defined.
Your Involvement Can Make a Difference
Join us in this vital campaign by writing to your MP. Below is a draft letter that you can use to articulate your concerns. It’s vital that we act now to safeguard the standard of medical care and the clarity of roles within the NHS – in a few days, it will be too late.
Draft An Email to Your MP Below