I have great pleasure in introducing myself as the new Chair of AAPE UK.  I have taken over from Ruth Pearce who has stepped down due to a change in her academic remit.  Ruth has been an excellent Chair and the committee really appreciates her contribution and enthusiasm.

I am Associate Professor (Advanced Practice) at London South Bank University. I’ve been involved in Nurse Practitioner education for 15 years, following graduation from the RCN Institute NP programme in 1994 while I was working in General Practice in Newham, East London. I’ve been a long-term advocate for collaboration between providers of advanced nursing education and contributed to the establishment of AANPE by chairing the first seminar for UK NP education representatives in 2001.  Subsequently I’ve actively lobbied for UK-wide standards for advanced nursing education and practice as an AANPE committee member and as the RCN NP Adviser (2002-2007), member of the Department of Health (England) Advanced Nursing Practice Steering group (2010) and more recently membership of Health Education Englands (HEE’s_ national Local Education and Training Board (LETB) group working to develop HEE standards for advanced clinical practice across England.

These have reinforced my belief in the value of AAPE UK for influencing development and implementation of policy at local and national level within all four countries and internationally.  I look forward to working with the committee and wider AAPE UK membership at such a significant time for advanced practice.

2016 has started well for AAPE UK with an excellent conference in March in Salford. The caliber of speakers was evaluated highly – their presentations are available on the Conferences section of this site.

The agenda included the AGM which fed into the updated action plan for 2016 -2017 – you can read more on this website.  Leads are identified but please contact us if you want to contribute to one of the activities.

At the conference, we took the opportunity to co-opt representatives from allied health professionals to strengthen the interprofessional focus of the committee.   This is important for enabling the committee to better reflect the multi-professional mix that now exists within the majority of advanced practice programmes across the UK.

Advanced practice is making headlines regularly now, being heralded by some as the solution to the medical workforce and emergency care crises.  This has attracted national press and debate with the usual questions about the risks of “dumbing down medicine”.  There is not doubt that innovative solutions are urgently needed to meet the challenges of an aging workforce, recruitment and retention difficulties and social trends with an aging population and escalating numbers of patients with complex health needs.  There are now examples of Advanced Practitioners providing safe and effective high quality patient care across all health settings and the benefits to the multi-disciplinary team and wider organisation are also evident in recent evaluations.  These successes are driving a significant escalation in demand for advanced practice programmes, which is particularly notable in a time of reduced funding for education.

However a key issue central to the future direction of advanced practice and associated education across the UK is whether  advanced practitioners should prepared as “medical-substitutes” or have a more rounded scope and focus that values the leadership, educator and researcher aspects, alongside the advanced clinical dimension.   This latter approach is widely advocated in multiple examples of advanced practice literature and national and international policy, but seems to be disregarded in the drive for a quick and cheap solution.

AAPE UK is lobbying at every opportunity to avoid a reductionist, limited approach to the education of health professionals to work at an advanced level of practice. Anything less is a missed opportunity for the future impact and full return on investment for advanced practice.

The committee also has four country representation so we plan to provide regular updates on what the impact of our discussions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Best wishes

Katrina Maclaine