South West Faculty Update July to September 2021

Top stories in this update

South West Regional Update

The summer months have been busy for us in the HEE SW Advancing Practice (AP) Faculty. We have been hard at work reviewing and analysing all the fantastic data kindly submitted by our systems and providers in our 2021 AP Demand scoping exercise as well as continuing to promote the many and varied roles of advanced practitioners and how they can transform service delivery across the region. All done whilst also working with the HEE Centre on the many exciting evolving projects aimed at supporting AP recognition and development nationally ensuring the SW is at the forefront of all AP developments.

Anna Neary case study video

We are delighted to have launched our first two primary care AP videos onto the HEE YouTube site! The first follows Anna Neary, an experienced SW AP working in a GP practice and her reflections on what it takes to be an AP in Primary Care and the immense job satisfaction this can bring. The second film features a GP Partner and practice manager perspective of how APs can enhance the clinical team and care offering to patients in Primary Care. Both can be found here. We really hope you enjoy them and find them informative and inspirational, please share the link with colleagues.

Hot on the heels of our wonderful Primary Care videos we will also soon be launching our next batch of AP career videos. This time we are following some fantastic SW Mental Health AP clinicians doing brilliant work that has transformed patient pathways in their organisations.

Continuing the theme of mental health AP, we are also in the process of planning two mental health AP focussed webinars. The first will focus on MH AP trainees and AP roles in mental health and the second will showcase the impact that MH APs have had on patient flow and service delivery within their organisations. Further information on the films and webinars can be found in the mental health focus below.

South West region graphic 2

Our AP Faculty is continuing to grow and we have three more team members joining us in the upcoming months. We are excited to welcome Lou Buckle, Jennifer Lloyd and Luke Cunningham to the SW AP team.

Lou Buckle will be joining us full time as the Faculty’s associate workforce transformation lead. Lou will work with our HEE SW Workforce Transformation team interfacing with our system partners and organisations supporting them to embed AP workforce planning across our region. Lou brings a wealth of clinical and strategic experience having worked clinically as an AP in both Surgery and Emergency Care before more recently holding a workforce planning and support lead role at Gloucestershire hospital.

Jennifer and Luke will be working with us in a job share role for the next 12 months focusing on promoting the role of AHP’s in advanced practice across all disciplines and systems. Both are experienced clinicians currently in clinical practice in the SW, with Jennifer working in primary care as a speech and language therapist in learning disability and autism services and Luke as an ITU dietician at RCHT. They bring considerable enthusiasm and energy into their role, and we are looking forward to having them join the team and helping us drive the AHP AP agenda forward across the SW.

Advanced Practice Demand Scoping 2021

We are pleased to have completed our 2021 AP demand scoping process and would like to sincerely thank all who took the time to provide the information required. This was the first time this has been undertaken in the SW, it was a learning process for all of us and we thank you for your engagement and patience.

Nurse working on a laptop

It was a huge but highly worthwhile undertaking and as a result of this process we now have a far greater understanding of the aspirations to develop AP roles within our systems and organisations across the SW and, most importantly, a better understanding also of how we can work with all to support achieving these aspirations going forward.

Another very important outcome from this process is that we have been able to offer funding support to over 110 new AP trainees across the SW for 2021/22 in a wide variety of scopes of practice including community, primary and secondary care. Our aim is to continue building on this figure in the years to come with the continued engagement of all, and to grow our SW AP workforce in this informed and supported manner.

All HEE supported trainee AP’s and their supervisors will be contacted by the Faculty’s Supervision and Assessment Leads to offer support on their journey to becoming an HEE recognised advanced practitioner. The S&A Leads are all experienced APs and trainers and will be there to provide clarity and guidance to trainees and trainers when required as well as facilitate the development of networks and communities of practice within their designated scopes of practice. The list of Faculty S&A Leads is available on our SW AP Website along with the areas of practice they cover. Please do contact them if you have any queries within their areas of expertise.

Calendar with pins

As of March 2022 we will run an annual cycle for submissions of expressions of interest for AP funding across the SW. This will be the single annual opportunity to apply for HEE funding support for AP training and will run at a systems/organisational level. Individual applications for funding will not be considered as the development of the AP workforce must be integral to the Workforce Transformation plans of our systems in order to deliver both the training support required and eventually the service transformations that it should enable. The requirements for eligibility will be as they were in this years scoping process and are outlined in the Faculty Handbook, Readiness to Train and Commitment to Train documents used in that process. We will be using an online platform for this annual process and will keep all updated over the coming months as this evolves further. Our aim is to support increasing numbers of AP trainees as guided by our system workforce transformation demand.

National Advancing Practice Week

Laptop screen showing team meeting

We are sure you are all aware that it is National AP week 8th – 12th November 2021, a time to celebrate all things AP. The national Centre for AP have been hard at work planning the programme and securing great speakers at the conference that will be held virtually over 2 days on the 8th and 11th November. Several of our Faculty team will be presenting the great work they are undertaking here in the SW and hopefully many of you will be joining to hear from them and the other great speakers contributing.

Registration for the conference opens on the 4th October at noon.
To register please visit

Conference banner for Nov 21 AP conference

On the non-conference days that week we are planning to run other activities highlighting some of the great work that is being done regionally as well as a workshop on AP leadership with the NHS Leadership Academy. If you are interested, please keep an eye out in your inboxes for our future mail out of the full weeks schedule once it is finalised.


A big thank you to all the AP trainees that filled in the NETS survey when it went out over the summer, your feedback is really appreciated. We had 20 trainees respond which is 16 more than last year!!! Next year we would like this to be an even greater number, so please encourage all trainees to respond in the upcoming November NETS survey!

NETS Survey x2

NETS is a survey that offers HEE trainees the opportunity to comment on their experience, asking them to provide feedback on what is working well and what could be improved. Initial results from the AP cohort suggest so far that 89% of respondents witnessed no bullying or harassment at all whilst on placement and the same percentage of learners felt that the people in charge valued education. There were no reports of learners witnessing unsafe patient care and 78% had a good overall educational experience on their placement. We are also pleased to report back that 100% of learners reported that staff were welcoming, supportive and friendly throughout their learning. There were reports around the availability of learning and IT resources, which will be matched with other respondents and fed back as an issue for those organisations to work on and followed up.

Your feedback really does make a big difference. If you are a trainee AP, please fill out the NETS survey and give us your opinion. It is due to be launched in November- keep an eye on your inbox and have your say!

Communities of Practice: Cornwall

Rachael Brandreth

Rachael Brandreth: Regional Advancing Practice Supervision and Assessment Lead for Speech & Language Therapy, Dietetics and Podiatry / Chair of the Cornwall AHP Council.

The Cornwall AP Community of Practice launched in March and is meeting every other month. Although still in its infancy, it has been extremely well received and we are starting to connect people in ways that they hadn’t before, with the realisation that there are others working in similar roles or situations to themselves.

Harbour with boats and the sea in Cornwall

The community of practice currently has over 90 members from diverse professional backgrounds including social care, allied health professions and nursing. Membership is from organisations across the developing ICS spanning the NHS including Primary Care, the council, the third sector and HEIs. There are current APs, aspiring APs, managers and leads who are looking to develop the areas of practice within their workforce and / or training programmes.

Members are valuing the sharing and debating, as well as the support the community provides. Valuable presentations and discussions include those about the 4 pillars, pathways, the need to support supervision and the current gaps. A topic which we look forward to working with the regional and national centre to progress further, is how we find the right supervisors to support our aspiring AP’s, and exploration of the requirements for these supervisors. Other interesting debates include service gaps, what’s needed and how this informs training and CPD or topics needed for AP. 

NHS Futures Platform graphic

The NHS Futures platform is also set up as a collaboration space for the community of practice to continue these conversations outside the formal meeting. 

Another area for attention is the connection between workforce planning and the development of APs so that the system can be better informed and match the attendance of training programmes to service needs.

As a result it has been recognised that as a system we need to do more work to reconcile job titles, roles and level of practice. However, we also recognise that we are not alone and are keen to collaborate to maximise the potential of AP’s for our service users. This approach has been great and I would thoroughly recommend other systems start their own communities of practice and link in with the CIOS CoP (Cornwall AP Community of Practice).

Scope of Practice Spotlight: Mental Health

Jane Moses

Jane Moses: Regional Advanced Practice Supervision and Assessment Lead for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism and Occupational Therapy

Advanced Practice mental health curriculum and capabilities framework

My name is Jane Moses and I am the SW regional Supervision and Assessment Lead for Mental Health, Learning Disability & Autism and Occupational Therapy. I also work as a Consultant Health Psychologist within a personality disorders pathway and am passionate about developing mental health services and career pathways.

Where do I begin! A lot has happened in the last year in the AP world, especially in the mental health arena. Nationally, a procurement was undertaken to identify five sites that could, for the first time, provide Advanced Practice courses specifically mapping to the newly released MH AP Framework.

This is a massive step forward as many of those who have completed the generic pathway have fed back the need for an increased focus on the non-physical skills required, specifically when working with clients with mental health presentations.  Unfortunately, none of the commissioned education providers were within the southwest region. This would, of course, make it difficult for trainees within our region to access these bespoke courses, as they are all delivered on a blended learning basis, meaning attendance is required regularly.  To overcome this, HEE have been working with education providers to close this gap.

Doctor seeing a patient

The University of Plymouth will now be providing a Mental Health AP course as of January 2022 and we are looking to fund 11 trainees to complete this 3 year MSc, with additional funding available to the employers to support this.

Earlier in the year a scoping exercise was undertaken with all of the organisations that provide NHS mental health services across the southwest. It was identified that a lot of organisations needed to improve their knowledge of the AP agenda at board level and incorporate AP into their workforce plan.  The HEE SW faculty for advancing practice is working with organisations in the southwest to do this and highlight areas of good practice.

There will also be a series of Advanced Practice Mental Health webinars taking place starting on 22nd October. These will be hosted by Gemma Ford a MH AP, Shimrit Ziv a Consultant Psychiatrist and myself.  We will have a range of speakers whilst also trying to keep them succinct. If you wish to get more information and register for one of these events, please visit

Mental health webinar poster Oct 2021

I also have the pleasure of speaking at the national conference on Monday 8th November along with colleagues Stephanie Tempest, who is the national mental health credential lead, as well as Gemma Ford, this time as the supervision and assessment lead from the Midlands region.  Come and see us at 11.15 in session 2E!

Advanced Practice in mental health Matthews story video

I hope to be able to launch our inspirational AP in MH videos at these events, along with a number of case studies.  I am very grateful to all of those who have taken part in developing these exciting resources and hope they inspire others to create similar trailblazing MH AP roles.

If you want to hear more about what is happening in the world of advanced practice in mental health then please email the faculty of advanced practice at  Please also use this email address if you wish to enquire about obtaining funding for a MH AP course. Mental Health is the space to be in!!

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