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Anaesthetists feel broadly negative about associates, survey finds

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: (Published 10 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q839
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Most anaesthetists have a negative view of anaesthesia associates (AAs), a survey by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) has found.1

Consultants who regularly worked with AAs were less likely to have a negative view of the role, while anaesthetists in training who had never worked with AAs held the most negative views.

All RCoA members working as anaesthetists in the NHS were invited to complete the survey, which was designed by the college and conducted by the independent agency Research by Design.

The survey ran from 21 August to 21 September 2023, not long after the publication of NHS England’s long term workforce plan in June, which set out plans to increase the number of AAs to 2000 by 2036-37.2 The survey received 6049 anonymous responses (a 35% response rate), making it the largest survey of anaesthetists’ opinions on AAs to date.

Overall, 62% of respondents expressed a negative opinion of AAs, while 15% expressed a positive opinion. Consultants who had worked with AAs daily or weekly had the most positive opinion, with half (50%) saying that they held …

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