Most PAs are contracted to work 37.5 hour week (maximum 40 hours a week depending on the practice). This equates to 10 sessions a week. Some practices offer nine clinical sessions with one admin session.
Depending on experience, PAs will require longer appointment times initially - usually 30 minutes for newly qualified or those new to primary care. They will then be aiming for 15minutes if not 10 minute appointment times depending on the practice and agreement with PA.
PAs are able to see any age of patient from newborn to the elderly. They are able to see any condition but bear in mind that the PA will need more support for the more complex issues. However, the PA should be encouraged to take a detailed history and examination if this is the first presentation of the complex medical issue. They should then discuss the case with a supervising GP.
PAs can also be considered for acute on the day appointments to increase capacity. They can also be used for routine appointments such as pill checks, diabetic reviews, medication reviews.
PAs are able to perform cervical smears with specific training.
Needs Patient Specific Directions signed by a GP partner in order to give medications such as the flu immunization.
PAs are able to do both private and NHS referrals as per local guidelines.
A PA will need an educational supervisor with whom they meet regularly to discuss cases and educational needs. For day to day supervision, they will require a dedicated clinical supervisor e.g. the duty doctor or named GP that has catch-up slots to allow for supervision:
The PA must have access to print prescriptions or send electronically to named clinical supervisor for that session. This allows for discussion and learning of management for conditions and as well as by patient i.e. interactions of other medications, allergies and alternatives