ACP 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 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.
They are capable of performing a range of tasks which may include prescribing drugs, ordering tests, organising treatment and working out the best treatment plans for patients. ACPs work across the NHS – in GP practices, hospital wards, emergency departments and community hospitals to name a few.
ACPs by title within Derbyshire work across health conditions and varying levels of health complexity. The ACP has broader advanced knowledge and skills to look after patient care as a whole, but they may refer to a specialist for more in-depth, ongoing care. It is important to acknowledge that a specialist practitioner may also be working at an advanced level. The two roles – ACP and Specialist – do not compete but work with each other and the rest of the healthcare team to provide best care for patients.
Health Education England, Julia Taylor, Advanced Clinical Practitioner/GP trainer
Health Education England, an introduction to Advanced Clinical Practice
Health Education England, advanced clinical practice in primary care