The College responds to launch of GMC consultation on PA regulation

RCGP responds as the General Medical Council begins a consultation on how it regulates physician associates and anaesthesia associates.

Dr Victoria Tzortziou-Brown, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Regulation of physician associates is long overdue, and it is the College’s position, as a matter of patient safety, that this must happen as soon as possible. PAs are not substitutes for GPs, nor should they be used to plug the gaps where there are GP shortages.

“It is also our position, following a meeting of Council members earlier this month, that the GMC taking on the role of regulator of PAs will create further confusion for patients over the differences between doctors and PAs, and that another body would be more appropriate to take on this crucial work. It is essential that these concerns are addressed in any future form of regulation. 

“The College will be contributing to the GMC’s consultation announced today, to ensure a strong GP voice is heard in this important discussion. Our updated March 2024 position also reiterates and strengthens our ‘red lines’ around the role of PAs in general practice, which will shape our response.

‘Separately, the College will soon be consulting with its members on the role of PAs specifically in general practice, including their scope of practice and supervision arrangements, in order to inform the College’s work in this area moving forward.”

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.