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Physician associates may be given prescribing powers, says DH


2 sides to this one. I do see that PA's may appear threatening to GPs, and if government seriously thinks they can do GP's entire workload then the whole service will indeed go tits up. However, we have long had nurses managing all our long term conditions patients (can't remember when I last saw a routine review of COPD for example, and have to ask our nurses advice these days as so deskilled on chronic COPD). PA's seem to be essentially a similar proposition - not to be doctors but to work a bit like our senior nurses do. So, to take a proper history, do the jobs, come up with a differential and management plan (like a F! doctor) to discuss if it's complicated, or to sort out the UTIs and coughs etc if it isn't. And of course to do some chronic disease stuff, and the kind of thing we had telehealth in for (that's another whole story of wasted money). There aren't enough nurses around to do all this work, and they have to be trained mostly in house, so why not train some other people up specifically for this role? I think we should welcome them with open arms, and think of them more like specifically trained nurse practitioners. (Not in any way denigrating nurse practitioners who have a wealth of experience on top of their training which will certainly give them a big advantage until the PA's have a few years experience under their belts).

Posted date

12 Jul 2015

Posted time