Physician Associates

Chris and Ellis talk about their roles as a physician associates (PA) within the OneNorwich Practices Primary Care Network, they describe the training needed to become a PA, a typical day and future aspirations for the role.

Progress in 2022

Currently with a team of four Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) physician associates (PAs), OneNorwich Practices has become one of the biggest primary care employers of PAs in the region. Originally taking on a team of two, the versatility of these clinicians was quickly evident resulting in a further two PAs being appointed through the Additional Role Reimbursement (ARR) Scheme (see p. 31) and a team lead being appointed. 
Feedback from practices has been very positive. By having a PA in each of the four neighbourhoods, working across a total of nine surgeries we are able to deal with a wide variety of clinical conditions across telephone and face to face appointments, increasing much needed appointment availability.

Carrying out Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) reviews for chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and diabetes has provided further support
for practices and patients with these conditions.

Enrolment of our PAs into courses such as minor ops and the PA Foundation Programme have provided useful further experience and skills which can be implemented into practice.

OneNorwich Practices is committed to growing this role in primary care and have helped in examining for the physician associate national exams and aided with teaching for the local UEA course.

Our future aim will be to continue growing this team and to further develop skills with existing members, which will enable us to provide added support to surgeries within the PCN.