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RCP welcomes legislation to regulate the role of physician associates

The RCP welcomes news that legislation to bring the physician associate (PA) profession into regulation has been passed by the House of Lords. Now that both houses of parliament, as well as the Scottish parliament, have approved the Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order, it can be made law.

Dr Sarah Clarke, RCP president, said: 

‘The RCP has long called for the regulation of PAs. While there are a range of views about the profession and issues that need to be resolved, regulation will give a welcome assurance of patient safety.

‘PAs, when deployed and supervised appropriately, are a valuable part of a multidisciplinary team. We will continue working with the Faculty of Physician Associates and other key stakeholders to develop additional guidance on scope and supervision.

‘We also welcome the opportunity to debate these issues at next month’s RCP EGM. This will help us to better understand our fellows and members’ concerns and discuss a way forward. Now that the Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order has passed, we hope that the public consultation from the GMC on its rules and processes for regulation of PAs and AAs will be brought forward swiftly to ensure that PAs are brought into regulation by the end of 2024 as planned.’

The RCP consensus statement sets out our detailed view.