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Project name: The future of Advanced Clinical Practice

Objectives: A national conversation to understand the role, potential and implications of “Advanced Clinical Practice” for England’s healthcare system.

The background

How do you properly educate, train, support or regulate a new and emerging healthcare professional group? This was the challenge facing Health Education England, who were tasked with identifying and creating the best possible way to support a new and emerging professional group, Advanced Clinical Practitioners.

The issue they were trying to solve

HEE’s biggest challenge was finding a clear way forward and strategy for this new professional group when there is so much complexity and variability in the background, education and training, roles and regulation. This challenge was compounded by different views in the sector, and from different professions and professional bodies about the NHS workforce challenge and the part that advanced clinical practitioners could and should play.

Why Clever Together?

They chose Clever Together for three reasons:

  1. Clever Together have deep understanding of healthcare and in particular, workforce education, training and regulation.
  2. Our crowdsourcing and deliberative methods meant we could tap into the insight of all their stakeholders, wherever they were, and distil feedback quickly and accurately.
  3. HEE’s leaders know we have a track record of helping others to solve complex issues through en-masse engagement and analysis.

Our Journey together

There were three steps to our process:

  1. Firstly, Clever Together facilitated a national seminar involving the leaders of all key interest groups drawn from the different professions, to identify the problems we collectively wanted to explore and address.
  2. Secondly, using the feedback from sector leaders, we hosted a ‘crowdsourcing’ online workshop bringing thousands from across the nation to share their views on the impact of advanced clinical practice; the workforce implications; how to build appropriate regulatory and other assurance mechanisms.
  3. Finally, using qualitative thematic analysis, we were able to provide a deep insight report into the issues and solutions, with clear recommended actions for national bodies, employers and individuals which could deliver fundamental change to the NHS workforce.

The legacy and impact of our work

Our insight and analysis has directly fed into the strategy development for advanced practice and especially the work of Health Education England as they seek to plan, educate, recruit and train the workforce of the future.