What is an advanced clinical practitioner?
Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) are highly trained professionals with the knowledge and skills to take on wider roles caring for patients. They have advanced qualifications (such as a masters degree) and the capability to work independently but are integral to a clinical team approach. The professionals are from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, pharmacy, paramedicine and occupational therapy but all must be a current regulated healthcare practitioner.
Health Education England (HEE) definition of advanced clinical practice:
“Advanced clinical practice is delivered by experienced, registered health and care practitioners. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a masters level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence.
“Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes.”
Neither the ACP title nor level of practice are regulated and, as such, are open to use by anyone making recruitment particularly challenging and understanding particularly challenging.
It should be noted that this definition refers to a level of practice not a role, however in Derbyshire the ACP title is a defined role with clearly defined capabilities to provide clarity for patients and practitioners in understanding expectations.