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First-ever ACP framework launched by HEE

A new national framework for the development of Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) has been launched.

Health Education England (HEE) devised the ‘National framework for multi-professional advanced clinical practice’ in partnership with NHS Improvement and NHS England.

For the first time, the document sets out a national definition and standards for the multi-professional advanced level of practice.

In its definition of an ACP, the framework calls them “experienced, registered health and care practitioners,” with a “high degree of autonomy and complex decision-making” and a master’s level qualification or equivalent.

The national framework draws on existing frameworks from across the UK.

John Clark, director and dean of education and quality at HEE, explained that the aim of the framework is to ensure “a clear and consistent approach” nationally.

“It achieves this by setting out recommendations for the development, implementation and evaluation of advanced clinical practice by defining the practitioner core capabilities and by identifying a recommended standard of education for advanced clinical practice,” he said.

“This will optimise the ways in which new and existing advanced clinical practice roles are developed and used to enhance care and improve health outcomes for local people.”

ACPs enhance the multi-professional team by supporting existing and more established roles, and provide patient-focused care.

HEE hopes that the new framework will ensure that staff and patients all clearly understand the role of the ACP and promote teamwork across traditional professional boundaries.

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