South West Faculty Update January to March 2023

Welcome to the first Advancing Practice Faculty update of the new year. There has been a huge amount of activity that has happened over the past three months to pack into this edition.

Regional Update

2023-24 Annual Demand Scoping

The 2023/24 Annual Demand Scoping for trainee Advanced Practitioners undertaking HEE accredited MSc programmes opened for 6 weeks on 1 February and closed on 15th March 2023. We want to thank everyone across the South West for taking the time to complete these applications and support the trainees within their organisations. 

The Faculty are aiming to review all submissions by the end of April 2023 and will look to send confirmation of funding by May 2023 so that trainees can apply and confirm places on the MSc programmes as soon as possible. Trainees, in conjunction with their supervisor and employer, will each be required to complete and return a commitment statement as well as a trainee data collection survey. 

From an education providers perspective, we will inform them of trainee numbers looking to access their programmes, in order to plan and ensure adequate capacity to support all aspiring trainees. 

Latest Copy of our Scoping Handbook  

The South West Advancing Practice Handbook has been updated for 2023/24.

SW Faculty Scoping Handbook 2023-24

This handbook answers the commonly asked questions and is designed to support organisations looking to develop advanced practice. 

Read the HEE SW Advancing Practice Faculty Handbook 2023-24 

South West Advancing Practice Podcast 

Episode 11, Advanced Practice in Ophthalmology 

In this episode of the HEE South West Advancing Practice podcast series we are exploring advanced practice in ophthalmology.  

Sharon Wade, the HEE Advancing Practice Supervision and Assessment Lead for Anaesthesia & Surgery, is joined by Helen McCarthy, Head Orthoptist and Gurdeep Matharu, Trainee Advanced Practitioner & Senior Orthoptist, both at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS FT. They talk about developing and supporting Gurdeep and discuss the benefits her background is bringing to their current role and service. 

Find all our South West Podcasts here 

South West Case Study: Ophthalmology


Trainee Advanced Practitioner in Ophthalmology Services 

Meet Alice Dyer, a trainee advanced practitioner working in ophthalmology.  

Alice is currently working as a trainee advanced practitioner in ophthalmology services at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Foundation Trust. Alice is a registered nurse by professional background and holds many years of experience working in ophthalmology. We recently took some time with Alice to learn more about her role. 

Find all our South West case studies here 

South West Advancing Practice Video

Dealing with Feelings of Imposter Syndrome

This video was first aired at the National Advancing Practice Conference in November during AP week. It shows clips of advanced practitioners and advanced practice trainees sharing their feelings of imposter syndrome and some of the strategies and advice that they use to help overcome it. 

South West Advancing Practice Community Services Event

New date confirmed

We can confirm the 14th June 2023 as the date for our postponed community services event. The virtual event gives delegates the opportunity to network with colleagues, share experiences and discuss potential areas for future development in community services. For further information please visit our web page which has the signup link. 

Advancing Practice National Updates

There has been lots going on in the Centre for Advancing Practice during January, February and March.

Student Nurses walking down a corridor

Advanced practice credential specification in autism (children, young people and adults of all ages)

This credential is suitable for practitioners who provide health and social care services to autistic children, young people and adults of all ages. It defines advanced practice core  capabilities relevant to all those in the multi-professional team and underpins specialist areas of practice at advanced practice level. It aims to improve the lives of autistic people by co-producing a sustainable, robust and capable workforce to support autistic people to live a  healthy, safe and rewarding life.

Access the Advanced practice credential specification in autism

Advanced practice credential specification for pelvic health

Pelvic health considers the relationship between the anatomy, physiology and functionality of the lumbopelvic region in relation to, and its impact on, the entire body. Along with musculoskeletal elements, it encompasses urological, gynaecological, and colorectal conditions. Pelvic health extends through various life stages from childhood onwards. It applies to all genders. Pelvic health has a significant role to play in the physical, mental, social, psychological and sexual wellbeing of all individuals of all ages.

Access the Advanced practice credential specification for pelvic health

Advanced Practice in Midwifery Capability Framework

Advanced Practice in Midwifery Capability Framework

The Advanced Clinical Practice in Midwifery Capabilities Framework, is a tool which will enable organisations to put in place new Advanced Practice roles in midwifery, helping them better meet the needs of those who use their maternity services. The Framework will support midwives to develop to an advanced level of clinical practice through education and training, whilst contributing to the provision of safe and personalised care for childbearing people and their babies.

Access the Advanced Clinical Practice in Midwifery: Capability Framework

Advanced Practice Credential Specification for Public Health

This credential specification aims to develop practitioners who actively develop and demonstrate advanced practice capabilities with expertise in public health that are appropriate to their scope and context of practice.

For any practitioners interested in undertaking this credential please email the SW Faculty at

Access the Advanced Practice Credential Specification for Public Health

Welcome to the International Journal for Advancing Practice

International Journal for Advancing Practice

In January 2023 the first issue of the International Journal for Advancing Practice was launched.

International Journal for Advancing Practice is a new, quarterly, multi-professional, peer-reviewed journal aimed at all those practicing and studying at an advanced practice level. It will provide all advanced practitioners, regardless of specialism, with a comprehensive evidenced-based resource that brings together the four pillars of advanced practice: clinical practice; leadership and management; education; and research.

NHS Employers: An introduction to the Governance Maturity Matrix

Credible and consistent governance of advanced practice in the NHS can be challenging, but it is vital in ensuring advanced practitioners’ safe, effective, and successful employment. NHS organisations can now use the Governance Maturity Matrix to help them navigate this and improve patient care.

The matrix was designed to enable NHS organisations to self-assess their progress around governing advanced practitioners and to facilitate improvement.

We are hosting a series of webinars in partnership with Health Education England (HEE) to demonstrate how organisations can use the matrix and showcase examples from NHS trusts.

  • Using the Governance Maturity Matrix as an assessment tool – Tuesday 28 March, 10-11:30am 
  • Governing advanced practice: looking ahead and addressing the challenges – Monday 24 April, 10-11:30am

Book onto the webinars here

Advanced Practice Networks

Join our Advanced Practice Networks – Mental Health and/or Learning Disabilities / Autism

The Advanced Practice Mental Health Network and the newly formed Advanced Practice Learning Disability / Autism Network are available on our new Advanced Practice Networks virtual platform. The networks are a resource to support one another, to reduce the isolation that can sometimes come with advanced practitioner roles, and to help develop the future of advanced practice in these fields. 

Image of members area from our mental health network

The networks offer a space to connect people aspiring to be, training to be or working as an advanced practitioner in these scopes of practice. Also welcome are those who support the development of the workforce including regional and national strategic leaders and advanced practice MSc programme teams. 

There are two main aspects to the Networks. The first are virtual events which include updates from HEE and the sharing of good practice. The second aspect is a virtual platform, accessible 24/7, where members can share their contact details e.g., in their region or specialty, post questions, share and access resources, contribute to discussion threads and network. 

Feedback from APMHN members has included: 

 “…so helpful!  I feel that I am not alone anymore. Thank you so much.” 

“Really supportive network! Helps reduce the feeling isolation, embracing the wider community!“ 

“An invaluable resource to support each other and the future of advancing practice.” 

Join the Networks 

While you are there, you can: 

  • Connect with other members from across England 
  • Bookmark your place on any scheduled virtual, live events 
  • Post a question, share your thoughts or respond to others on the activity wall 
  • Browse the resources to help inform your practice 

Being part of either network provides excellent opportunities for continuing professional development across all four pillars of practice and helping to inform and support the development of Advanced Practice in Mental Health and in Learning Disabilities / Autism. We welcome all members! 

If you do not have an account on our platform linked above, please complete our registration form

South-West Musculoskeletal Emergency and Urgent Care Community of Practice

Claire Guthrie, Advanced Practitioner – Physiotherapist, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Musculoskeletal advanced practice encompasses a diverse range of clinical sub-specialities including urgent and emergency care. The aim of this role is to ensure those presenting to urgent treatment centres, minor injury units and emergency departments with musculoskeletal complaints are assessed and managed by the right person, first time in a single episode of care. Local service evaluation data has demonstrated advanced MSk practitioners are effective in the provision of high quality and timely care, including reducing onward referral rates and repeat attendances, when compared with other emergency and urgent care colleagues (see attached). 

As the roles of musculoskeletal advanced practitioners have expanded within urgent treatment centres and emergency departments across the region, the requirement for peer support and clarity over scope of practice has become apparent. The RCEM curriculum provides a broad overview covering the breadth of emergency care but there is no nationally directed governance or training structure specifically for MSk advanced practitioners in emergency care roles. Consequently, a group of MSK advanced practitioner’s in the South West have collaborated to create a community of practice.

We aim to provide peer support for existing and new clinicians into emergency and urgent care roles and have representation from Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bath and Dorset. We have started to work towards creating a shared capability framework to support training pathways for new physiotherapists stepping into these settings and to provide a governance structure for those already in post. 

Longer term goals include delivering formal teaching in specialist skills required in the emergency and urgent care settings, such as fracture reduction, wound management and head injury assessment. We also hope to inspire others to consider similar roles by showcasing the impact of advanced MSk practitioners at the front of the MSk pathway. A number of the group are on HEE funded educational routes such as HEE accredited AP MSc (apprenticeship) route or equivalence routes such as the supported ePortfolio route to AP recognition. 

We would love to hear from others interested in joining our community of practice or those considering implementing MSk roles in emergency or urgent care centres. Please feel free to drop me an email at 

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