Statement in Response to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Consultation on Physician Associates in General Practice

Written by UMAPs Ltd

July 3, 2024

We are troubled by the findings of the recent RCGP survey and proposed halt to recruitment of Physician Associates in general practice.

We have examined the findings of the survey and all subsequent recommendations very closely and disagree, in the strongest possible terms, with proposals to halt recruitment of new Physician Associates and to reassign those who are currently employed.

Less than 10% of RCGP members responded to the survey and nearly half of these had never worked with a Physician Associate in practice. The findings should, therefore, be treated sensitively and with caution. They should not be used to form the basis of extreme measures as proposed by the college.

At a time when people are finding it harder and harder to access an appointment at their local GP, these measures carry a risk of increased delays and associated harms.

The vast majority of Physician Associates in general practice work in partnership with GPS, and other members of the general practice team, to deliver safe and sustainable care for their local communities.

We do, however, recognise that this can only be successful under the safe and supportive supervision of a GP. The findings of this survey suggest that some GP partners are failing to provide the standard level of supervision required by the GMC and CQC. Failure to provide proper oversight is a risk to patient safety.

General practice is multi-disciplinary and therefore requires engagement from all stakeholders to enhance care and make improvements where concerns are identified.

UMAPs are committed to collaborating with and providing support and guidance to the RCGP, GP Partners and other stakeholders to ensure high standards of care alongside appropriate supervision of Physician Associates.

You May Also Like…

Your Forming Union Needs You

Your Forming Union Needs You

FAO Medical Associate Professionals, As some of you will be aware, there has been a growing number of cases in which...