My project is examining Physician Associates (PAs) in Wales. PAs are a relatively new healthcare professional in the NHS, especially so in Wales. The study will examine how well prepared PAs are for their role following training, their contribution to multidisciplinary team working and service provision and how patients respond to the role.
Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a Research Assistant in Public Health Wales as part of the Early Action Together Programme (EAT). EAT is an initiative involving public health, policing and criminal justice organisations across Wales, taking a public health approach to policing and criminal justice. In addition to this, I also assisted with the evaluation of the Inspiring Families Programme; a whole family assessment for families where domestic abuse has been identified.
I have also worked as a Research Assistant for Llamau, a charity supporting vulnerable young people and women in Wales. I assisted with the evaluation of the Symud Ymlaen/Moving Forward Project which provided young people who were LAC or involved with YOT with work placements and employability support.
Physician Associates in Wales: a study of their preparedness for practice, their contribution and patient perspectives on the role
The Physician Associate (PA) is a relatively new role within primary and secondary care settings in Wales and England and numbers have increased in recent years. The PA is defined as someone who is: “A new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision.”
The aim of my study is to document recently qualified PA's experiences, exploring how well the training and internships prepared them for practice, the impact of their role in terms of the contribution they make to the wider multidisciplinary team and to service provision and to explore how patients respond to the PA role. My study adopts a mixed methods design collecting data from both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study is split into two parts; case studies and a wider PA survey. The case studies will involve PAs from two health boards from both primary and secondary care to allow a comparison between the settings.