Scope of Practice of Physician’s Assistants in Anaesthesia
The curriculum is the result of collaborative working between:
- The Royal College of Anaesthetists
- Association of Anaesthetists Great Britain and Ireland
- The Royal College of Anaesthetists Patient Liaison Group
- Clinical leads from the programme sites
- Phase 1 trainee anaesthesia practitioners.
- Association for Perioperative Practice
- College of Operating Department Practitioners
- British Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse Association
- Group of Anaesthetists in Training
The detail of the curriculum itself is the result of close collaboration between the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the former NHSU and the University of Birmingham, and builds on early work conducted by Dr David Greaves for the Royal College and overseas nurse anaesthetist curricula. A wider Reference Panel including PA(A) representation has been able to comment on and influence each stage of development of the curriculum.
The APA(A) Statement on Scope of Practice for a PA(A) on qualification – 2016
The APA(A) fully supports the RCoA and AAGBI position statement regarding the scope of practice for a PA(A) on qualification, published in 2016. PA(A)s undergo a relatively short training program of 27 months in which it is impossible to cover all areas of modern anaesthesia. However, through further training and assessment, PA(A)s are able to perform functions for which they were not initially trained and are traditionally only carried out by anaesthetists.
The APA(A) would be keen to reinforce its support for further development and expansion of the PA(A) role to areas not covered in PA(A) initial training, whilst ensuring patient safety and appropriate supervision of PA(A)s in all areas of practice. We would expect further development to have robust local governance in place and teaching led by consultant anaesthetists, thereby ensuring patient safety is maintained. Once statutory regulation is in place for PA(A)s, it is expected that nationally recognised role development can take place with full endorsement by key stakeholders.
We would encourage departments of anaesthesia to develop new ways of working, incorporating PA(A)s as part of a multi-disciplinary team, delivering anaesthesia services.
The APA(A) position on the ‘Scope of Practice for a PA(A) on qualification’ is; that the statement is a set of guidelines based on the abilities of a PA(A) after 27 months training. It is not intended to limit practice and development, particularly as individual PA(A)s become more experienced and gain new skills.
To provide anaesthetic services to patients requiring anaesthesia, respiratory care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and/or other emergency, life sustaining services within the anaesthesia and wider theatre and critical care environments.