|Mrs Kate Bascombe (f)|
BSc Hons, PGDip
A Physician Associate (PA) is a new healthcare professional within the NHS. A PA can see patients of all ages for acute and chronic medical care. Within the general practice setting PAs work alongside the GPs with a dedicated supervising Dr for advice should it be required.
Physician Associates undergo two years full-time postgraduate training based on the Competence and Curriculum Framework for Physician Associates written by the Department of Health in 2012. Training consists of intensive theoretical learning in medical sciences, pharmacology and clinical reasoning as well as over 1400 hours of clinical placement experience in community and acute care settings.
Currently, although Physician Associates have the relevant training, they are unable to sign prescriptions or sign for an x-ray, CT or any other ionising radiation. This is because PAs do not have a regulating body, something the professional body, Faculty of PAs at the Royal College of Physicians, is actively campaigning for.
For more information regarding this new and innovative role in the NHS please refer to the Faculty of PAs website http://www.fparcp.co.uk/