Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow is welcoming six new Physician Associates (PAs) to their team.
The PAs will work across various departments, including trauma and orthopaedics, ENT, and infectious diseases.
The PAs work under the supervision of a consultant and their duties include reviewing patients’ medical histories, carrying out examinations, requesting diagnostic tests, and requesting investigations.
The London North-West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) currently employs 18 PAs, including Sarah Kamal, who became its first PA in 2011.
Sarah has been working with the Same Day Emergency Care team where she helps assess, treat and discharge frail elderly patients back to the comfort of their own homes.
She describes career progression as ‘horizontal’, with their generalist skills allowing them to work across a number of specialisms while gathering experience and skills.
Chief Physician Associate Rosalie Alpine works in A&E, as well as having responsibility for recruitment and developing the PA network across the Trust.
She said: “PAs bring new talent to the trust, add to the skill mix within teams, providing a stable, generalist section of the workforce which can help ease the workforce pressures the NHS currently faces.”
BBC journalist Callum May recently fell ill on the underground and was treated by a PA at Northwick Park. He was in and out of A&E in less than five hours.
“The strike may have put the health service under pressure, but my experience shows it also relies on many professionals,” said May.
LNWH provides hospital and community services to the people of Harrow, Brent, and Ealing.
The new programme will fund six PAs over six months, who will work in various departments.
With the PAs joining the General Medical Council, they are on course to become prescribers, adding to the skill mix within teams and providing stability to the workforce.