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RCGP to launch consultation on PAs in general practice

RCGP to launch consultation on PAs in general practice

The RCGP will launch a consultation on the role of physician associates (PAs) in general practice today, it has announced.

The college said that a consultation with members on the role of PAs ‘was now necessary’ as the context in general practice is ‘quite different’ to secondary care, with fewer opportunities for supervision and ‘more risk’ with first contact care of patients. 

The consultation, which will be launched today, will include online questions and will be administered and analysed by an independent research company, Research by Design (RbD).

It will include a section for the experiences of GPs working with PAs in general practice, as well as a section for views on how PAs ‘could be best deployed going forwards’.

RCGP members will receive an email from RbD by the end of the day, with a personalised link to the survey, which will be open until Friday 10 May.

In an update to members, RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne said: ‘To protect patients, physician associates themselves, as well as GPs and their existing staff, the consultation will help us first find out from you what the current state of play is within practices across the UK.

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‘From this we can start to produce some guidance that GPs and their practices can put into use as soon as possible.

‘Please engage with it – we need as many of you as possible to participate to get a full picture of what is currently going on.’

It comes after the college changed its stance on the regulation of PA after a vote last month. It now believes the GMC is the wrong body to take on the job.

Since the legislation which brings PAs under GMC regulation has now passed through Parliament, the RCGP said it will ‘need to enter into discussion with the GMC and other stakeholders to look at how these concerns can be addressed’. 

The RCGP has come under criticism in recent months for its position on PAs, including an accusation from the BMA’s GP Committee chair of a ‘lack of transparency’.

Earlier this year, Pulse reported that the college had withdrawn a case study detailing the work of a physician associate following backlash from doctors online.

And in November, they admitted to an ‘error’ in suggesting that PAs would be able to access college fellowship.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Not on your Nelly 22 April, 2024 12:34 pm

Ah the consultation, that will fix everything. The RCPG have no idea what is happeneing on the ground and don’t really represent the profession in any way. Wasting money for those who still (though I can’t see why) are paying them for membership with zero benefits.

Sal Kal 22 April, 2024 2:57 pm

Well too late in the day.-wake up after horse has bolted. You can bet most of the RCGP guys would be head examiners and planning curriculum for Physician associates. That after they failed hundreds of doctors in an expensive RCGP exam to maintain standards when it suited them .With PA’s and ARRS-those exams and standards are a joke.

Centreground Centreground 22 April, 2024 4:03 pm

A ‘Past sell by date ‘ review by an irrelevant and out of touch organisation such as the RCGP will be of no value other than produce a list of criteria used by regulatory organisations to further batter frontline GPs as produced by this hopeless group in my view.
Agree with the above -an ongoing complete waste of membership fees ( unless you are looking for some Royal title) for an organisation which has failed to properly represent General Practice for decades in my opinion and which damages rather than promotes Primary Care .

Michael Green 22 April, 2024 6:20 pm

Oh wow, a survey!

Waseem Jerjes 22 April, 2024 11:33 pm

Ah … the RCGP … the most useless organisation on Earth … the can’t even get their MRCGP approved as speciality training by the GMC … no surprise they will be advocating for PAs and support them … they should call them the RC of non-GPs