Advanced Clinical Practice

Advanced clinical practitioners come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. They are healthcare professionals educated to Master’s level and have developed the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and scope of practice caring for patients.

What is advanced clinical practice?

Advanced clinical practice (ACP) is a defined level of practice within clinical professions such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. This level of practice is designed to transform and modernise pathways of care, enabling the safe and effective sharing of skills across traditional professional boundaries. 

Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) are healthcare professionals, educated to Master’s level or equivalent, with the skills and knowledge to allow them to expand their scope of practice to better meet the needs of the people they care for.  ACPs are deployed across all healthcare settings and work at a level of advanced clinical practice that pulls together the four ACP pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.

A definition of ACP, its underpinning standards and governance, can be found in the Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England. The framework ensures there is national consistency in the level of practice across multi-professional roles that is clearly understood by the public, advanced clinical practitioners, their colleagues, education providers and employers.

The roles undertaken by advanced clinical practitioners are determined by the needs of the employer and how they require the level of practice to be deployed within their setting.  This may fit with nationally understood roles, such as those within emergency departments or very bespoke roles based upon the needs of a specific population such as an advanced clinical practitioner dietitian running a complex enteral feeding (tube feeding) service for paediatric patients).

Definition

Health Education England (HEE), in association with its multi-disciplinary partners, has developed a 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 master’s 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.

The ACP definition has been developed to provide clarity for employers, service leads, education providers and healthcare professionals, as well as potential ACPs practising at an advanced level. This is the first time a common multi-professional definition has been developed which can be applied across professional boundaries and clinical settings. The definition serves to support a consistent title and recognises the increasing use of such roles in England.

Other Useful documentation and Links
Souced from - https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/advanced-clinical-practice/what-advanced-clinical-practice