To support the campaign, which runs until Saturday 16 November, we aim to raise awareness of Advanced Practitioners (AP) at GMMH. Here, current Advanced Practitioners, including Lead Nurse (Tara), a trainee AP (Katrina) and newly qualified AP (Rachel) tell us about their roles, motivations for becoming Advanced Clinical Practitioners and why it’s such an important role.
“Advanced clinical practice is a level of practice healthcare professionals can attain. Advanced level practitioners (ACPs) are from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics, occupational therapy, healthcare science and midwifery. ACPs are educated to masters level and have developed the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and scope of practice.” NHS Employers
Advanced nursing roles in mental health have made it possible for senior nurses to take over practice previously carried out by psychiatrists. These senior positions are beneficial to patients and help practitioners to develop their careers. Advanced Clinical Practitioners from a range of the Trust’s services, in different roles across the Trust, tell us more…
Tara McGinley, Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner, based at Park House mental health inpatient unit
“As part of this week’s national Advanced Practice Week I wanted to celebrate our growing workforce of trainee AP’s, and qualified AP’s and introduce a new Trust AP forum. I have worked as an AP in the community for the past 12 years but in the past six months have taken up the role of Lead AP in Park House, in Manchester, to develop an AP workforce for the inpatient service. As part of this role I am leading the development of a Trust wide AP forum for all AP’s within the organisation. The forum will support education and learning, supervision and skills-based learning to maintain staff’s competencies as AP’s. It will also provide a pool of learning experiences for trainee practitioners.
“Being an AP allows for independent and autonomous practice, which is evidence based and allows complete care episodes to be delivered by the AP, in various settings from many disciplines. I have found my role as an AP to be interesting, challenging and incredibly rewarding. In my current role, I hope to inspire others to become AP’s and to also offer ongoing support and guidance in their journey from trainee to qualified AP.”
Katrina Kernaghan, trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner at North Manchester’s Crisis Resolution Home Treatment
“My name is Katrina and I am a trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) at Park House, which is an inpatient unit at GMMH. We are currently developing the role as I am one of the first ACPs within this area of the Trust.
“It’s really exciting to be involved in the new development within the service. I wanted to do the advanced clinical practitioner training to advance my skills and so my career development could remain in a clinical area. It was important for me to remain working face to face with service users as my career progresses. I believe experienced nurses have a lot to give to service users and can enhance care provided by becoming an ACP.
“The training is challenging, and it’s sometimes strange to feel like a student again learning about completely new areas of clinical practice. I am having to work really hard, but I know it will be worth it when I qualify. I have already started to become more analytical when considering evidence base around care and know this will help me provide more patient focussed care, which I am passionate about.”
Rachel Clarke, newly qualified Advanced Clinical Practitioner, at Salford Home Based Treatment
“Over recent years, I had a growing sense that mental ill-health seemed to be more of an issue; whether more people were experiencing it or they just felt able to ask for help, I’m not so sure. What was clear, was that the complexity of presentation also seemed to be growing and I was working at the limit of my knowledge and skills. I saw becoming an advanced practitioner as the next logical step where I would learn new knowledge, develop new skills and thereby be able to offer more to service users, keeping pace with the ever-increasing level of need that clinicians were being faced with in practice.
“After two years study for the MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice, I am now qualified and at the beginning of the next stage in my career. The team in which I work has made advanced practice part of the MDT and the role is already proving beneficial whether it be through education, service development or direct clinical practice.”
We want to invite all our advanced practice colleagues to engage in conversations on Association of Advanced Practice Educators (@AAPEUK) and GMMH Twitter (@GMMH_NHS) and Facebook (facebook.com/GMMentalHealth) accounts. Let’s raise the awareness of advanced practitioners and their collective value to mental health services #AdvPracWeek19
 NHS Employers, Advanced clinical practice, viewed 14 November 2019 from https://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/plan/workforce-supply/education-and-training/advanced-clinical-practice