Four MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn, have signed an early day motion in parliament, calling for the physician associate profession to be renamed to assistants.
The former Labour party Leader – who now sits as an independent MP in the House of Commons – was joined by Claudia Webbe (Independent MP for Leicester East), John McDonnell (Labour MO for Hayes and Harlington) and Mohammad Yasin (Labour MP for Bedford).
Early day motions (EDMs) are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, but no day has been scheduled for the debate to take place.
As there is no specific time allocated to EDMs, very few are debated. However, many attract a great deal of public interest and media coverage. EDMs are used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns.
By attracting the signatures of other MPs, they can be used to demonstrate the level of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.
There is no rule whereby the number of signatures affects the likelihood of an EDM being debated.
The full motion text can be read here. There are several points mentioned in the motion, including renaming the profession to physician assistants.
The text makes reference to the case of Emily Chesterton, and states that plans for the General Medical Council to regulate PAs creates ‘potentially dangerous confusion’. The motion calls for PA regulation through Health and Care Professions Council, as the British Medical Association has recommended.
The motion further calls on the Government to ensure that the NHS Workforce Plan must fill physician roles with fully-qualified physicians, maintaining a clear distinction between medically-qualified roles and other roles.
This week, the legislation for regulation of Physician Associates cleared another hurdle, passing through the House of Commons.