Physicians Associate (PA)

What is a Physician Associate? 

The physicianassociate (PA) works in conjunction with and complementary to the existing general practice team. We are a new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision.

What can a PA do in General Practice?

The PA in general practice can do a variety of jobs. They are trained in the medical model and can assess, manage and treat patients of all ages with a variety of acute undifferentiated and chronic conditions. PAs can see acute patients on the day, for scheduled appointments; triage patients; home visits; visit nursing and residential homes; referrals; manage patients with long term chronic conditions; review and act on laboratory results; family planning; baby checks; teach and supervise students. PAs can also help the practice maximise clinical targets and with the appropriate training run specialist clinics within surgery e.g. minor ops. The levels at which the PA can work will depend on their skills and experience and also the skills and experience of their supervising physician. All PAs are trained to be aware of, and work within the limits of, the level of their clinical competence.

At Balham Park surgery we already help train PAs on the scheme at St Georges.  We have now recruited a PA, Guy Dimond joined our clinical team in November 2021. We plan to recruit a second PA in 2022. This is part of a government backed scheme to fund additional roles in primary care to help reduce GP workload.  Initially we would incorporate a PA into our oncall/on the day team to help with telephone calls and face to face appointments.