Physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs) cannot currently prescribe. Prescribing responsibilities aren’t included in the legislation that will bring in regulation. Additional legislation will be required.

While this isn’t our decision, we are contributing to a DHSC working group on prescribing for PAs and AAs, alongside the Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA), the Association of Anaesthesia Associates (AAA) and others. We’ve set out some principles and expectations, including around patient safety, education, and assessment.

We understand the importance of future prescribing to the PA and AA professions. Statutory regulation needs to be implemented before prescribing responsibilities can be extended to PAs and AAs. We’ll continue to work closely with DHSC and others to progress this as quickly as possible.

Can I use my non-medical prescribing qualification to prescribe whilst working as a PA or AA? 

There is currently no legal framework for individuals to supply or prescribe medicines in a PA or AA role.

However, some PAs and AAs do prescribe, with the support of their employer, using a qualification obtained in another regulated healthcare profession such as nursing. The GMC has no remit to advise on this issue prior to regulation. The Faculty of Physician Associates has published its position on registered prescribers operating in PA roles  and the Nursing and Midwifery Council also has advice on its website.

We’re working with DHSC and other regulators to understand the legal position once PAs and AAs are regulated professions and will provide an update when possible.