GPs publish new sessional guidance on supervising physician associates

14th June 2024 by NASGP

GPs publish new sessional guidance on supervising physician associates

Supervision of PAs must be ‘expressly and mutually agreed’ with salaried GPs and GP locums, members of the British Medical Association’s sessional GP subcommittee have advised in new guidance out today.

The subcommittee, chaired by GP Dr Mark Steggles, also advised:

  • Sessional GPs ‘should not be expected to request investigations, make referrals or sign prescriptions based solely on the clinical assessments made by MDT/ARRS roles’.
  • Additional agreed supervision responsibilities should be ‘adequately remunerated’ and the additional workload ‘should be remunerated with supplementary pay’.
  • Provision of supervision for MDT/ARRS roles ‘is the responsibility of the employer’.

Guidance has been published at a time when some GPs feel under pressure to accede to requests to supervise in order to protect opportunities to work.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, GP and NASGP chair, said: “The shadowy rollout of PAs across England has thrown light into all corners of disjointed workforce planning in general practice. No doubt under intense financial pressure itself, planners would have thought the new ARRS roles would have been universally welcomed, a panacea for patient access.

“And in many cases this appears to have been the case, with some local systems able to quickly integrate our PA colleagues quickly and efficiently. But many were already overwhelmed, and so were unprepared for this new role. Consequently, although solving one problem, it’s created another.

“This is a hugely welcome piece of guidance from Mark’s Sessional GP Committee that includes practical advice. NASGP members can already add this to their terms and conditions on LocumDeck, and can easily share this BMA link with employers via their LocumDeck profile.”

"I’m loving LocumDeck, it’s a great piece of software."

Dr David Williams, GP, Wales

Dr David Williams, GP, Wales

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