Dates are changing but our commitment to PAs and AAs remains

In November the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed a revised timeline for the regulation of physician associates (PA) and anaesthesia associates (AA). They now expect the legislative process won't be complete before summer 2023.

Everyone remains committed to implementing regulation. Unfortunately, the complexity involved and the impact of the pandemic on resource mean it just hasn't proved possible for the DHSC to progress the legal drafting as quickly as they had hoped. The Medical Act, which underpins our regulatory powers, has evolved incrementally over decades. Writing a replacement that's fit for purpose at a time of rapid change for the UK's healthcare systems, is not easy.

We appreciate this news may be disappointing, in some ways it is for us too, but we'll only meet this milestone by working together. So, our attention is focused on our continuing programme of work and there's a lot happening right now. We've recently launched our future professional standards and published learning materials to help PAs, AAs and supervising doctors put them into practice. Plus we just closed our engagement on the draft curricula for PAs and AAs, so we’ll be analysing your responses which will help shape education for years to come.

We've been listening to PAs, AAs, doctors and students as they've responded to the DHSC's update on the timeline for regulation. We've picked out prescribing and next steps for graduating students as topics where you'd appreciate more clarity. We've covered those questions and more in an update to our online hub. Take a look, when you get a chance, and let us know if there's any further information you'd find helpful at this stage by emailing