Re: Government is refusing to include GPs or nurses in additional roles scheme, says BMA leader

I Agree

Dear Editor,

I started the petition to allow GPs and practice nurses to be added to the list of ARRS funded roles [1] with high hopes. It has come as quite a shock that even the BMA has been unable to persuade NHSE to make these changes. So far the petition has received over 10,000 votes despite few of the public having heard of the term ARRS. Most people I mention it to find it hard to understand why these health professionals are being excluded from this source of funding. The government’s response to the petition does not appear to contain any logical reasons to continue the exclusion.

Recently I started petition 657133 [2] which can be found by Googling ‘petition 657133’ or typing ‘physician associate’ in the government petition search box. Its aim was to allow doctors with a medical degree the right to apply for physician associate posts in both hospitals and the community. Sadly the petition was rejected as the government said they were not responsible for deciding who is allowed to apply for physician associate posts despite NHSE drawing up the only guidelines I could find [3]. I have appealed against the rejection and time will tell whether this is successful.

Perhaps the only answer is for medical schools to start issuing physician associate qualifications to medical students in their 4th or 5th year of training. This could provide alternative employment for those unable to complete their medical degree, those that fail it, doctors unable to find training posts or other forms of work and doctors who want less stressful working conditions. As far as I am aware there is no training that physician associates receive that medical students do not also receive or could receive with a short additional course. If anyone is considering studying medicine it would be worth asking in your interview whether you will receive dual certification.

The sooner the legality of preventing doctors applying for physician associate posts or training is questioned the better. I hope the BMA pursue legal action against NHSE regarding whether excluding GPs and nurses from ARRS funding amounts to a form of financial or employment discrimination. There may one day be a public enquiry into all this when the public and media finally grasp what is happening. Sadly if we wait until that day, too many experienced health professionals will have been forced to either leave the country or their profession.



[3]… Section B6.1. P102

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Monday, February 26, 2024 – 12:51
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Re: Government is refusing to include GPs or nurses in additional roles scheme, says BMA leader

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