GP Assistants (also known as Medical Assistants) support doctors in the smooth running of their surgery by handling the routine administration and some basic clinical duties enabling the GP to focus on the patient.
A Rochdale practice employs a GP Assistant (GPA) in each of their practices. They work slightly differently in each of the practices depending on what the needs of the GPs are within each surgery.
In one practice the GPA focuses purely on the GPs admin burden and strips back their clinical post on a daily basis. They extract all clinical information from their post and update the patient summary. They see all non NHS forms before the GP extracting all the appropriate information from the medical record in advance leaving the GP to focus purely on the clinical opinion elements
In another of their practices the admin burden not as onerous and the GPA supports the GP in their duty surgery prepping each patient in advance of appointment and taking a brief history. They also oversee any appointment outcomes such as referrals, tests or getting colleagues on the phone, which enables the GP to take the next patient in whilst waiting for the calls outcome.
Currently the GP Assistant will need to complete a non-academic framework which will see them working through 5 domains of competencies lead by their GP mentor and externally verified by their supervisor in practice and a Greater Manchester university.
The framework takes 9 months to complete.