A new type of medical professional is now providing care for patients and easing the pressure on NHS services in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.   

Physician Associates are medically trained healthcare professionals, who are working in some of the region’s hospitals, GP practices and in the community.

There are now 33 working across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, easing the burden on busy doctors and nurses. There are 6 currently working at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 3 at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, 12 at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 4 in the region’s mental health trusts and 10 working in primary and community care.

Rebecca Saunby is a Physician Associate working on the Acute Medical Ward at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, she says:

“A Physician Associate is a new role that has been introduced into the NHS and we’ve been brought in to help doctors diagnose and treat patients so we’ll see a lot of the more simple cases, less of the complex cases and that frees up the doctors to be able to go on and see some of the more complex patients. We see a lot of patients with things like diabetes, heart problems, respiratory problems and they tend to have a few things wrong with them. Physician Associates can basically work in any area within the NHS not just acute medicine or general medicine.” 

The tasks Physician Associates carry out are:

·        Taking a patient’s medical histories

·        Performing physical examinations

·        Diagnosing illnesses

·        Seeing patients with long-term chronic conditions

·        Performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures

·        Analysing test results

·        Developing management plans

·        Provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.


Linda Crofts, Workforce Transformation Lead, for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said;

“Physician Associates are making a huge contribution to teams on wards in the hospitals across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw as well as in the region’s GP practices and in the community. They are generalists so they can deal with a large number of patients with all different kinds of issues. This helps patients because it enables them to get the treatment they need more easily and quickly while freeing up time for doctors and nurses to treat patients with more complex needs.”

Click the links below to listen to Physician Associates talk about the work they do.