A NEW guide to employing physician associates has been published by the Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).
The guide is intended to enable healthcare providers (including acute hospital trusts, community trusts, and primary care organisations) to understand the role of the physician associate (PA), their scope of practice, and how to employ a PA. It provides advice on:
- the current education and regulatory framework for the profession
- employment and supervision
- tools to help guide appraisal, career and salary progression
- recommendations for continuing professional development (CPD).
Jeannie Watkins, president of the FPA, said: "The physician associate profession is a growing and evolving one. We estimate that there will be just under 600 qualified physician associates in the UK by the end of the year. This is expected to grow to up to 3,200 by 2020.
"Physician associates, in addition to existing members of the healthcare team, are here to add value, capacity and generalist skills to the clinical teams providing care for patients across primary and secondary care. This guidance will not only help employers to introduce physician associates to their teams, but also retain PA’s by supporting them to progress and succeed."