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Medical Protection: PA/AA legislation is blueprint for reform of other health professions, so we must get this right

Post date: 14/12/2023 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/12/2023

Commenting on the legislation set out today to bring PAs and AAs into regulation:

Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection, said:

“Bringing PAs and AAs into regulation is an important step, however, there remains an urgent need for clarity on the scope of PA and AA roles given they will not be brought into regulation for some time. The GMC also needs to address the many concerns raised around how regulation for these professions will be implemented.

“This legislation is intended to provide a blueprint for the reform of other health professions, so it is vital that it is right. While there are several positive aspects which could, if implemented carefully, avoid healthcare professionals being dragged through a stressful hearing unnecessarily, it is disappointing that the DHSC has failed to heed some key concerns MPS and others have raised. For example, removing “health” as a category of impairment, which means those with a health concern would be investigated under grounds of “inability to provide care to a sufficient standard”. This terminology is pejorative, and it is a step backwards at a time when all parties are working to minimise the impact of investigations on healthcare professionals.

“We also remain concerned about the many disparities which will exist between the GMC’s new regulatory framework for PAs and AAs when it comes into effect, and the existing framework for doctors. For example, when PAs and AAs are brought into regulation, the GMC will not be able to appeal tribunal decisions relating to their fitness to practise, but they will still be able to challenge decisions on doctors’ cases. The further legislation required to address this disparity is needed urgently.”


For further information email [email protected]

About Medical Protection

The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

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