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Advanced Clinical Practitioners enhance A&E service

24 January 2019

The Emergency Department at Southend University Hospital has welcomed the support from a team of Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs).

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

The team at Southend consists of Sam Elden-Lee (Senior ACP), former nurse Marc Brant and former paramedic Ashley Reed (both trainee ACPs). The team enhance capacity and capability within the Emergency Department by supporting existing and more established roles. They help to improve clinical continuity, provide more patient-focused care, enhance the multi-professional team and help to provide safe, accessible and high quality care for patients.

Sam said: "As nurses and paramedics we tend to look at things from a slightly difference approach and we see the bigger picture rather than just focussing on the medical condition. We are actually looking at the patients' wellbeing, the environment and what's going on around them, what's the right thing for them rather than just being condition focussed - it's very much - because of our backgrounds - a more holistic approach."

ACPs are also providing some stability and continuity to the Emergency Department workforce as Marc explains: "We've got a lot of experience in RAT in Majors and I think we will take our experience of that into the new area.  With new junior staff, we can show them the ropes quite quickly and make that environment work as best as it can."

Ashley added: "We are comparable to doctors and we do the same sort of job and we see the same amount of patients but we are here to enhance the team, bringing a different range of skills in to make the service better. We see everything from paediatrics minor illness and injury, resuscitation, major illness, injury - the full remit the same as doctors do." 

Consultant Dr Caroline Howard, Clinical Director for Emergency Directorate and Medicine Directorate at Southend University Hospital, said: "The ACP team have been a very positive addition to the ED workforce and something we plan to expand in the future. They bring a wealth of experience with them from their previous other roles and are eager to learn and improve patient care. The Royal College of Emergency medicine runs a detailed accreditation programme so we can be assured they have all the knowledge and skills to work in the department, the same as a doctor having gone through a training programme. I think they are fantastic."

PICTURED (l-r): Ashley Reed, Sam Elden-Lee, Marc Brant 

ACPs can be identified by their scrubs - the trainees wear the same as F2s and Sam wears the same as ST3s.