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Consultation on Regulation of Physician Associates

Medical Associate Professions

The extraordinary events of the last year have showcased the invaluable contribution Physician Associates (PAs) and Anaesthesia Associates (AAs) make in today's health service. They have stood shoulder to shoulder with doctors and other colleagues, delivering first-class care with compassion and professionalism.

That's why the government's announcement last week that legislative reform is on the horizon is so welcome. It means PAs and AAs are another step closer to regulation, and another step closer to realising the vast potential these roles have to offer.

Before we secure the legislative changes that will enable us to regulate PAs and AAs, there will be a series of consultations. The first, run by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is now open, and focuses on the overall framework required for regulation. DHSC will then run a second consultation on the legislation that will need to be introduced to bring this framework into force. Their aim is to pass this legislation in Parliament by spring next year. Following this, we must run our own consultation on the detailed policies and rules of regulation for PAs, AAs and doctors. Once all of these steps are completed, regulation of PAs and AAs can be introduced. We expect this to happen in the second half of 2022. I can assure you that our intention is to move through these stages as swiftly as the process allows, so that regulation can begin as soon as possible.

We'll be looking at how to make the best use of the extra time now available to us and we're keen as always to engage with you and hear your thoughts. In the meantime, we continue to lay the groundwork that will allow PAs and AAs to join our register. That includes work around quality assurance of PA and AA courses and development of professional standards.

Naturally, some of you will be disappointed that these processes can not be completed more quickly. But I want to reassure you that we consider this work to be of the utmost importance to us, and to the future of the health service.

Please do take the time to respond to the consultations when they're published. Your views and experience will be vital as we move forwards in this exciting new chapter.

Visit the consultation page here

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