Objectives To explore perceptions of the current practice and future potential of advanced practitioners (APs) from the perspectives of different professional groups in Wales UK.
Design A qualitative study consisting of nine focus group interviews.
Methods Initially verbatim transcriptions of each focus group interviews were analysed thematically before themes were merged to represent perceptions for the whole data set.
Participants Data were gathered from a total of 67 stakeholders—including APs from a variety of professional groups (eg, nursing, physiotherapy, paramedics) as well as managers, workforce developers, educators and medical staff who have a role developing and supporting APs in practice.
Results The results are presented in four themes: (1) demand, policy context and future priorities, (2) role clarity and standardisation, (3) agreement and understanding of the role and (4) interprofessional working. The context within which current and future AP roles were considered was influenced by inexorable demands for healthcare and the requirements to meet health policy priorities. Developing AP roles were hampered currently by a lack of shared understanding and ‘joined-up’ working between different groups such as medical practitioners, managers, commissioners and educators.
Conclusions For the AP role to flourish more ‘joined-up’ thinking, support and development opportunities are required between APs, managers, senior clinicians, commissioners and educators. Working together to plan and deliver education, innovation and service delivery is of prime importance to meeting ever increasing complex health needs. This will ensure that future APs are adequately prepared and supported to reach their full potential and help deliver necessary innovations in current models of care delivery.
- QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
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