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NHS North West has supported the development of assistant and associate practitioner roles since 2002 and advanced practitioner roles since 2005, as part of a wider programme of workforce modernisation.
There are now more than 1,200 qualified assistant practitioners in the North West and a further 750 in training. Assistant practitioners work at level four of the career framework; the role being developed based on service need.
Trainee assistant practitioners (TAPs) develop knowledge and skills beyond that of traditional support staff through a foundation degree programme and work-based learning supported by practice.
The role of advanced practitioner is defined in a North West concordat, produced in partnership with trusts and universities. It is described as clinical, autonomous and multi-disciplinary. The role has been accessed by a range of experienced registered healthcare professionals, including allied health professionals (AHPs).
Currently there are about 260 advanced practitioners across the region, sponsored by NHS North West, and a further 140 in training.
Eight universities are commissioned to provide an MSc Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care. The programme’s core content includes clinical assessment and diagnostics, evidence based practice and leadership. There is a strong focus on work based learning to reflect the clinical nature of the role and its application in a specific area of service.
Strategic health authority (SHA) support to develop assistant and advanced practitioners is accessed via a formal proposal process to ensure that the new role is sustainable and driven by service needs. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org North West Assistant Practitioner Lead, or email@example.com North West Advanced Practitioner Lead.
For information on how to submit a proposal for an assistant or advanced practitioner post and dates for applications please see documentation below.