Advanced Practitioners can support and enhance services within Primary Care

If you work in or support Primary Care Services, you will no doubt know first-hand the pressures the services are facing.

The increase in long term medical conditions and the aging population has led to the role of the Advanced Practitioner to emerge and grow significantly.

Could Advanced Practitioners help to alleviate the workloads and increasing patient demand for appointments and potentially even present an opportunity to expand their services?

The development in the role of the Advanced Practitioner has developed significantly, so much so the Advanced Practitioners now play a key role in The NHS Long Term Plan (2019). It states that as part of a multi-disciplinary team ACPs can give GPs more time to focus on the more complex cases.

Health Education England supports the increasing skill mix and training of Primary Care and Healthcare teams, recognising the potential of Advanced Clinical Practice (2017).

They say the ACP role involves high levels of autonomy and critical thinking and believe practitioners working at this level should have standardised skill sets and knowledge to ensure safe practice.

In 2018 a study carried out by Eriksson et al found patients who visited an Advanced Practitioner appreciated their ability to listen, better accessibility and holistic care. A study by Barratt (2018) found that patients felt they were able to spend more time with an Advanced Practitioner which could reduce the need for follow up appointments.

Taking into consideration the current pressures on GPs, Advanced Practitioners could not only support but enhance services within Primary Care.

At Hallam Medical we offer the nation’s largest bank of highly skilled and experienced Advanced Practitioners. We work in partnership with the Association of Advanced Practice Educators (AAPE) UK to ensure we remain at the forefront of Advanced Clinical Practice and support some of the UK’s largest healthcare NHS and private healthcare providers.

Working with our clients and providing them with Advanced Practitioners mean we have first-hand experience of just how utilising APs in the right way can enhance a service.

Simon Harris, the Managing Director at Derbyshire Health United (DHU) Urgent Care said that they had used Advanced Practitioners within both their primary and urgent care settings for more than two years.

Simon said:

“APs are used in all services across Leicestershire, these services include telephone triage for more complex patients directed via the NHS111, face to face within primary care settings and urgent care centres that accommodate walk-in patients as a genuine alternative to an Emergency Department.”

He said:

“We have seen the benefits these practitioners can offer our patients. They work autonomously and part of a wider team in some locations and can seek advice and support from GPs as required with any diagnosis or prescribing issues.”


IC24 Chief Nurse, Rachel Robinson said:

“IC24 is driving a culture of multi-disciplinary team working in both primary and urgent care services. Our patients present to these services with a wide variety of symptoms, so it makes perfect sense to offer patients a wide variety of clinical expertise working together for patients to gain the best outcome.  We use Advanced Practitioners from a number of disciplines and all of these professionals bring complementary expertise to the wider team.”


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