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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Southampton celebrates first UK National Advanced Practice Week

Published: 13 November 2017
Clinician with mother and child
Highlighting the importance of advanced clinical practice

The University of Southampton is one of the UK’s largest providers of MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) programmes, and welcomes the launch of the country’s first National Advanced Practice Week (from November 12-18), coinciding with the already established US annual Nurse Practitioner week.

The UK event comprises a schedule of events to promote the excellent work of advanced practitioners. In particular Southampton’s ACP team is looking forward to engaging with the launch of the new Health Education England Advanced Clinical Practice Framework – a document that will significantly influence the forthcoming revalidation of the ACP curriculum.

The University is well-known for its ACP provision and its staff, based in Health Sciences, are experts in their fields who are regularly published in national media contributing to debate on key topics. Southampton students can choose from a number of pathways:

Programme Lead Dr Helen Rushforth said: “At Southampton, we are proud of our experience in providing flexible ACP courses. We are one of two main providers in the Wessex region for advanced practice education, and are one of just a small group of providers of advanced critical care and advanced neonatal nurse practitioner programmes in the UK.

Helen, together with colleague Simon Brook, has published regularly cited work on the importance of regulation in advanced practice. Helen also contributed a chapter to the recently published key text Advanced Nursing Practice: Changing Healthcare in a Changing World. Professor Anne Baileff, Health Sciences Associate Dean for Education and Student Experience, has also published work in the field.

Professor Sue Latter is leading national and international research into the quality and impact of non-medical prescribing that has been pivotal in shaping the government’s prescribing policy. Her work informs Southampton’s prescribing modules, and she is currently supervising two of the ACP lecturers’ doctorate studies on the topic.

Most NHS trusts across Wessex, a range of General Practices, and other independent healthcare providers regularly enrol their students on Southampton’s ACP programme. Several students also come from across the UK, particularly on the neonatal and advanced critical care practitioner pathways, and a number of advanced nurse practitioner students are sponsored by the armed forces.

Helen said: “We are delighted to work closely with Health Education (England) Wessex whose funding of our provision is key, and whose leadership of the local Wessex Advanced Practice Network is helping to unify approaches to advanced practice across Wessex.”

Shane Moody, Lead Clinician in Critical Care Outreach from a local NHS Trust, chooses Southampton as his preferred ACP provider, commenting: “Tutors make the programme personal and personalised to individual student needs. I’m a senior clinician now placing a number of my staff on this programme and I have clear access with lecturers if any issues arise. And as a key NHS organisation using these modules and pathways the University of Southampton actively engage us in developing future programmes.”

Recent ACP student Vikki Crickmore said of her experience at Southampton: “The non-medical prescribing module has made such a difference to my practice - it means I can assess, diagnose and treat a patient in one episode.”

Clinical Teaching Fellow Annie Herklots, said that undertaking the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice had not only enabled her to develop her clinical career, but was also fundamental in equipping her to take on a clinical teaching fellow role. She said "For those who love clinical practice, enjoy the challenge of new learning and who are looking to develop a clinical career pathway I would unreservedly recommend this programme."

Helen added: “Our course is designed to develop practitioners who are either working in, or working towards, advanced practitioner roles. We offer a very flexible programme that can be studied full time over one to two years, or part time over a period of two to five years. Part time students purchase modules on a pay as you go basis, offering further flexibility.”

To join the national conversation during UK National Advanced Practice Week 2017 use: #AdvPracWeek17

Learn more about our Advanced Clinical Practice programme by visiting our course pages.

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