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Scoping the application of primary care advanced clinical practice roles in England

Juliana Thompson (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Sue Tiplady (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Phil Hodgson (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Carole Proud (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

International Journal of Health Governance

ISSN: 2059-4631

Article publication date: 1 June 2020

Issue publication date: 17 August 2020



This study aims to scope the profile and application of an advanced clinical practitioner (ACP) roles in primary care in the North of England and how these roles meet the requirements of Health Education England's (HEE’s) ACP workforce capability framework.


A two-stage design was used. Stage 1 analysed health and social care workforce intelligence reports to inform scoping of numbers of ACPs working in primary care. Stage 2 used two surveys. Survey 1 targeted ACP leads and collected strategic-level data about ACP application. Survey 2 targeted staff who perceived themselves to be working as ACPs. Survey 2 was in three parts. Part 1 collected demographic data. Part 2 required participants to record their perceived competence against each of the HEE ACP framework capability criteria. Part 3 required respondents to identify facilitators and barriers to ACP practice.


Despite the introduction of HEE's ACP capability framework, there is inconsistency and confusion about the ACP role. The results indicated a need for standardisation of role definition and educational and practice requirements. The results also suggested that some ACPs are not working to their full potential, while some staff who are employed as “gap-fillers” to provide routine clinical services perceive themselves as ACPs despite not working at the ACP level.


Although previous research has explored the application of ACP practice in primary care, few studies have considered ACP application in the light of the introduction of workforce capability frameworks aimed at standardising ACP practice.



This study was commissioned and funded by Health Education England.


Thompson, J., Tiplady, S., Hodgson, P. and Proud, C. (2020), "Scoping the application of primary care advanced clinical practice roles in England", International Journal of Health Governance, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 245-258.



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