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‘First of its kind’ guidance sees BMA set out PA ‘scope of practice’

Physician associates should never see ‘undifferentiated’ patients in a GP setting, the BMA has declared in new ‘first of its kind’ guidance.

Today, the union has published a national scope of practice laying out how physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AA) should work safely in GP practices and secondary care. 

According to the BMA, the guidance is different from what it describes as the current ‘piecemeal or fragmented approach’ whereby individual organisations set their own guidelines for how PAs should be supervised.

In general practice, the guidance said a GP ‘should first triage’ all patients and ‘decide which ones a PA can see’, suggesting annual health checks as an appropriate contact. 

The union is also clear that PAs ‘must not make independent management decisions for patients’ and must be clear in all their communications that ‘they are not doctors’. 

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Source: Pulse, 7 March 2024


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