Medical associate professions
The NHS has seen the emergence of new professional roles working within multi-professional teams as part of the continuing drive to provide safe, accessible and high-quality care for patients.
In particular, four new roles are becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare team across hospital and community services.
What are the medical associate professions?
Each medical associate profession is trained in their specific role to provide patient care under the supervision of a doctor. This releases additional time for doctors to focus on more complex patient issues.
A summary of what they each do below.
- physician associates have completed a generalist medical education. They are trained to perform a number of roles in both hospital and general practice including:
- taking medical histories
- performing examinations
- analysing test results
- managing and diagnosing illnesses under the supervision of a doctor.
- advanced critical care practitioners (ACCPs) are experienced healthcare professionals and a crucial part of a service led by a consultant. They treat a range of adult patients, making high-level clinical decisions on their care.
- take medical histories
- examine patients
- undertake investigations
- liaise with specialist teams across health and care
- diagnose disease and other conditions through tests on blood and other fluids
- surgical care practitioners are registered non-medical practitioners who have completed a Royal College of Surgeons accredited training programme. They work as a member of the surgical team and are able to perform surgical intervention, pre and post op care under direct supervision of the consultant surgeon
- physicians' assistants (anaesthesia) have completed a post-graduate diploma which is recognised by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. They work in an anaesthetic team under the direction and supervision of an anaesthetist. They perform a number of anaesthesia-related roles including:
- pre-and-post operative assessment
- general anaesthesia and procedural sedation procedures
Professional regulation of the medical associate professions needs to be explored as they become more widely employed in the NHS. The Department of Health is looking for your views on their regulation in the UK. More information on the consultation including how to share your views can be found on the Department of Health website.