What is the National Physician Associate Expansion Programme?

The National Physician Associates Expansion Programme or ‘NPAEP’ is a specialist NHS transformation programme that has been created in order to expand the numbers of Physician Associates working in the NHS.

Through a dramatic increase in the numbers of Physician Associates we hope to be able to demonstrate the significant benefits that the use of Physician Associates will bring to patients, to NHS Trusts and to fellow NHS colleagues.

In order to successfully expand the numbers of Physician Associates we are focused on two core objectives

Recruiting experienced Physician Associates from the USA

We want to take 200 Physician Associates from the USA and deploy them in 4 regions around England.

There are currently around 100,000 Physician Associates practicing in the US where the role has been established for over 50 years. Local piecemeal attempts to deploy Physician Associates has succeeded in part. However, in order for the health service to see a transformational change and realise the benefits that a significant increase in the numbers of Physician Associates could achieve we will bring in a large cohort from the US now.

Developing the architecture to train a sustainable supply of Physician Associates here in the UK

We want to support Higher Education Institutions to expand delivery of Physician Associates training programmes in order to meet the needs of their local health communities.

We will firmly establish the market for Physician Associates within the NHS and demonstrate the need for increased capacity within Physician Associates training. Over time, the expanding Physician Associates programmes within England will produce graduates who can train alongside, and eventually replace, the US Physician Associates.

Is a Physician Associate the same as a Physician Assistant?

Yes there is no difference, other than the name. To find out more please click here.

Why do you need to take PAs from the US rather than the UK?

As this is a transformational change programme we want to very rapidly expand the numbers of Physician Associates working in the NHS in order to create a real impact. This dramatic increase in Physician Associate numbers will help to demonstrate the significant benefits they bring to patients, to NHS Trusts and to fellow NHS colleagues.

There are simply not enough UK graduate PAs to deploy in these numbers and as such we propose to recruit 200 top-class US qualified PAs to undertake an exciting secondment to the NHS. However, we are committed to working with Higher Education Institutions in the UK to expand delivery of Physician Associates training programmes in order to meet the increased demand expected at the conclusion of this programme.