Investigating the contribution of physician assistants to primary care in England
Physician assistants (PAs), a relatively new group of healthcare professionals, support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They undertake physical examinations, investigations, diagnosis, treatment and prescribing within their scope of practice as agreed with their supervising doctor. This study aims to investigate their contribution to the delivery of patient care in primary care services in England.
The research questions being explored are:
- How are PAs deployed in general practice?
- What is the impact of including PAs in general practice teams on the organisation of the practice, the working practices of other professionals, relationships between professionals and the practice costs?
- What factors support or inhibit the inclusion of PAs as part of English general practice teams at the local and macro level?
The study has several elements including a comparative case study of 12 general practices, six employing a PA and six not. The research team bring multiple perspectives including those of the public and patients.
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