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Information for clinicians within primary care wishing to seek funding for advanced clinical practice MSc

Over the past 10-15 years the role of the advanced practitioner has evolved both within general practice, acute & secondary care. The role has generally seen nurses in a variety of new roles but with varying standards, resulting in much disparity. This has created confusion for employers, fellow healthcare staff and patients because of variation in titles, competencies, qualifications & indemnity cover.

Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) are experienced clinicians (5yrs post qualification with 2 yrs working at a senior level)- historically most within general practice have been nurses but other clinical staff have been working at advanced level. ACPs work as part of the team, working alongside doctors, nurses, etc. The role is a generalist one, not specialist.

Master level qualifications are needed to add on medical skills to existing skills and include skills such as critical thinking. A full MSc will be a requirement in addition to a professional healthcare profession such as nursing, pharmacy or physiotherapy. Those who hold a registrable qualification & complete the nonmedical prescriber modules as part of their MSc will be able to be independent prescribers but staff such a paramedics & physicians assistants will only be able to prescribe using patient group directives (PGDs)

Health Education England Working Across the East Midlands (HEE-EM) wants to standardise the ACP role and a project is underway to do this. The aim is to initially standardise across Derbyshire, with a view to extending this across the East Midlands. The aim is not only to standardise training but also support and supervision for trainees and existing ACPs, and to promote a fair/agreed payscale. ACPs are highly skilled & hugely valuable and there will be a need to retain these staff by valuing their role and offering quality supervision & CPD.

HEE-EM ihas agreed to develop an Academy of Advanced Practice, to sit within the Local Education & Training Board (LETB) to help deliver the above. It will work alongside HEIs who will deliver the MSc training. Work base placed assessments will be undertaken and an e-portfolio completed, much like happens in the medical model with foundation stage and registrar doctors. Funding will be provided to the workplace to allow the trainee to attend university, for backfill and for supervision.

All ACPs, regardless of their place of work will need to meet the agreed Derbyshire ACP Core Competencies. In addition to Core Competencies there will be area specific key clinical conditions to know how to manage in your area of work. For example these could be either general practice, community, medicine, surgery or A&E

Staff already working at an advanced level will need to demonstrate that they meet the necessary competencies and have the required qualifications. If they need to ‘top up’ what they have to the full MSc they will be offered support to do so, within an agreed time frame. Staff who do not meet the requirements will not be able to use the title ‘advanced/ACP.’ Hopefully setting the standard will also have positive benefits in terms of getting appropriate indemnity cover for ACPs in general practice.

It needs to be recognised that senior practice nurses/nurses in chronic disease are not necessarily the right candidates for ACP role and need to be valued for the specialist role they have. They're ‘Specialist’ and will have advanced skills but these will be in a specific area.

ACPs are generalists and able to assess across all systems.

To be considered for training to be a Trainee ACP please be aware there is a requirement to undertake the full MSc.

Requirements – a brief overview – these are all to be agreed by the Academy of Advanced Practice.

Essential:

Must:

  • Have been working for 5yrs as a qualified practitioner, with 2yrs working at a senior level.
  • Must possess clinical competence beyond that of a newly qualified practitioner
  • Have a first level degree in a subject relevant to the professional background of your area of employment
  • Have a level of English language capability IELTS 6.5 in all area
  • Have an understanding of the advanced clinical practice role
  • Possess good self motivation, enthusiasm & engagement to develop their roles as advanced clinical practitioners
  • Have the ability to plan and pursue their own professional development in order to meet the requirements of the program and fulfil the Derbyshire ACP competencies
  • Be able to maintain a high level of clinical practice within their professional roles demonstrating professionalism at all times
  • Have appropriate indemnity cover
  • Needs support from employer – It is important that the employer understands the role of the ACP and the support and supervision that a trainee ACP will need. If they require further information they can contact Julia Taylor (details at the end of this document)

Desirable:

  • Have evidence of post graduate study
  • Be an independent non medical prescriber

Once an associate member of the Academy of Advanced Practice

  • Will be called a Trainee ACP
  • Will work with their allocated Educational and Clinical Supervisors
  • Must be able to identify own learning needs by matching current skills/knowledge against the ACP competencies
  • Will need to complete the MSc and the identified modules, alongside placements
  • Maintain an eportfolio of evidence
  • Undertake and successfully complete WPBA
  • Participate in debrief, review of work
  • On successful completion of the MSc there will be an expectation that the ACP will work in Derbyshire

In the event of not completing the MSc or stopping working as an ACP in Derbyshire there will be a claw back clause evoked which is to be decided.

To express an interest please forward your CV, along with a letter of support from your employer, to;

Julia Taylor,

ACP/GP Trainer, Lead for General Practice, Advanced Practice Strategy Group, Derbyshire

juliataylor@nhs.net