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New Direction for Assistant Practitioners at UCSD

New Critical Care and Mental Health Assistant Practitioners commence their studies.

This July University Centre South Devon welcome a new cohort of Assistant Practitioners from newly created specialist role within their organisations. The Clinical Education Team at UCSD have been working with the teams at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and Livewell Southwest to develop new routes within the Assistant Practitioner foundation degree to meet the operational and transformation needs of these organisations.

Assistant Practitioners are a band 4 role that are introduced within a specific area of clinical practice to support organisations to deliver high quality, patient centred care. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust have introduced the Assistant Practitioner role within their critical care wards. This is an innovative use for the role within such a specialist area within the hospital, as the trust look to transform the care provided within these wards.

“University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust have been growing our numbers of Assistant Practitioners over the last five years and are proud to have these colleagues in a wide range of departments and specialities. They are an integral part of our nursing and clinical professions teams and are also a route into nurse degree apprenticeships; we have supported several colleagues onto their nurse degree programme and the first cohort are about to qualify which is wonderful.

“We are delighted therefore to take this a step further and continue to work in partnership with University Centre South Devon to run a critical care assistant practitioner programme over a shortened 15 months. This is a new way of running these programmes and also a new workforce approach for critical care, which is very exciting. We very much welcome our first cohort of colleagues onto this programme and wish them luck.”

Beverley Allingham, Deputy Chief Nurse, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Livewell Southwest are introducing the Assistant Practitioner role across the Community Mental Health Service, these students will form an integral part of the team and will provide support to those accessing the service.

Claire Langman, Clinical Education Manager said “as a team we are proud to able to support these organisations with their operational and transformational plans, these two new roles are a great development of the Assistant Practitioner role. UCSD has been delivering training for the Assistant Practitioner for over 14 years and have previously support students across a range of settings, including Podiatry, Occupational Therapy and Audiology. This group of students are the 15 cohort of students to undertake the course, they are all completing their studies on the foundation degree as part a higher apprenticeship.”

For more information on the Assistant Practitioner foundation degree and the range of specialist modules available please email the Clinical Education Team, [email protected] or visit the UCSD website, www.ucsd.ac.uk/about/clinical-education.