BBC. Coronavirus: Above-inflation pay rise for almost 900,000 public sector workers. 2020. (accessed 14 January 2021)

Health Education England. Advanced Practice. (accessed 14 January 2021)

NHS England, NHS Improvement, Health Education England. We are the NHS: people plan 2020/21—action for us all. 2020. (accessed 14 January 2021)

Royal College of Nursing. New NHS People Plan does not address nursing workforce crisis in England, says RCN. 2020.

Advanced clinical practice: is it worth the bureaucracy?

28 January 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 2


Vikki-Jo Scott discusses some of the barriers that prevent advanced clinical practitioners from achieving their full potential and how these difficulties can be overcome

The recently published NHS People Plan (NHS England et al, 2020) made reference to continuing professional development (CPD) and in, particular, advanced clinical practice. Work to provide guidance, professional standards, tools and resources to support advanced practice is being produced by various networks (eg Association of Advanced Practice Educators, Advanced Critical/Clinical Care Practitioners Academic Network, Royal College of Emergency Medicine) at a rapid pace. The doors have opened for universities to apply for accreditation of their advanced clinical practice programmes through Health Education England (HEE)'s ‘Centre for Advancing Practice’ (HEE, 2020). In addition, there has been a resurgence of activity as people return from redeployment during the COVID-19 crisis into a new way of working that includes both ‘business as usual’ and dealing with the continuing impact of the pandemic.

As one of its key messages, the NHS People Plan notes that the decrease in bureaucracy in this time has helped people to feel empowered to do what is needed. Is this reflective of the advanced clinical practice experience? Have bureaucratic blockages been removed to allow advanced clinical practice to be implemented effectively? Is the effort needed to push forward this agenda worth it?

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content