‘Anaesthesia Associate’ the new title for Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia)

The Association of Physicians’ Assistants Anaesthesia is pleased to announce, from the 1st of July 2019 the profession will be changing its title to ‘Anaesthesia Associate’.

We would ask all stakeholders to use the new title from this date.  The Association will in turn become the ‘Association of Anaesthesia Associates’.

The Association’s board, in consultation with its members, decided on the title of Anaesthesia Associate.  Views were also taken from senior individuals in Health Education England, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists.

The title Anaesthesia Associate, more accurately reflects the clinical level the profession works at, being clearer and familiar to both patients and healthcare professionals. As ‘associate’ roles increase in number this recognition is expected to grow.

Irfan Mehmood – President of the Association of Anaesthesia Associates

The original title of the profession was Anaesthesia Practitioner (2003), the title was subsequently changed to Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) [PA(A)] in 2008.  The reasons for the change were; other healthcare professionals used the title of Anaesthesia Practitioner, it brought the profession into alignment with the then Physician Assistants with a view that a degree of harmonisation would facilitate statutory regulation.

Over time PA(A)s became the only profession working at a senior clinical level to use the prefix of Physicians’ Assistant in the UK.  The title of Physician’s Assistant is also used by many Trusts to describe healthcare workers typically working at bands 2-4 on Agenda for Change, supporting doctors, in administrative roles and basic clinical duties.

PA(A)s as a group have felt for some time that the title was no longer appropriate and considered the most suitable time to amend it.  As statutory regulation approaches, it was felt now was the time to amend our title to a more appropriate one.

We are due to be regulated under the overarching title of ‘Medical Associate Professions’ (MAPs).  We believe a title which includes the speciality, with which we are allied, ‘Anaesthesia’ and the ‘Associate’ aspect of MAPs will be helpful in broader recognition by patients and professionals.

Please note: several documents and videos on the website including external links will refer to the old title of Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia), these will take some time to update where possible.  Information contained within them will apply to Anaesthesia Associates, unless specified otherwise.

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