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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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About Physician Associates

Physician Associates - New Healthcare Professionals

Physician Associates (PAs), while not a doctor, work 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.

PAs are seen by the UK government as one of the ways in which workforce pressures in the NHS can be alleviated and form a part of the long term strategy in developing a sustainable workforce.

139 Physician Associates graduated in the North West in March 2019.

In collaboration with Dr Kate Burnett, Head of School for Physician Associates at Health Education England, Dr Sarah Sibley, LHCH Respiratory Consultant, identified the opportunity to swiftly bring this new allied healthcare professional group and their skills into the respiratory workforce to deliver collaborative care. 

Whilst being supervised by Dr Sibley, the Physician Associates are also being mentored by LHCH's Respiratory Nurse Consultant and Respiratory AHP Consultant. 

The Role of Physician Associates in Primary Care 

Our Physician Associates review patients in their Primary Care Centre who have been identified for optimisation of their underlying respiratory condition. The programme targets patients with a diagnosis of COPD and currently prescribed LABA/ICS and LAMA inhalers.

They will be supported by their community respiratory consultant supervisor and a named General Practitioner within the surgery where they are based. The Physician Associates will rotate between Primary Care centres. 

The reviews will involve taking a clinical history, clinical examination (where appropriate), reviewing investigation results and formulating an appropriate ‘evidence based’ management plan.

Respiratory medication optimisation will be key to the role in addition to supporting patients to manage their long term condition more effectively. Treatments will be based on national and local guidelines for excellent respiratory care.


The Role of Primary Care GP Practices

Register your GP Practice to join the Project by emailing: PA.copdclinic@lhch.nhs.uk

Primary Care GP Practices will agree to:

  1. Provide dates for presentations to be delivered by Physician Associate (before start of clinic if possible)
  2. Supply C&MRI Administration team with EMIS username and password with the ability to login remotely
  3. Supply Physician Associate with EMIS username and password
  4. Synchronise Physician Associate smartcard to GP Practice
  5. Provide a dedicated contact admin person
  6. Nominate a Prescriber and GP Supervisor to support the programme (they can be different people)
  7. Supply a room and availability for Clinics
  8. Accept and sign data sharing agreement