THE NHS trust which runs Basingstoke hospital has become the first in the region to develop specialist advanced practitioner roles in critical care.
The first cohort of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) trainee advanced critical care practitioners have been in post since the end of March.
The four trainees – Lee Berry, Joe Goforth, Sally Ayres and Roberta Borg – are all qualified, experienced nurses who are now on a two-year training course in partnership with the University of Southampton, and will complete placements in anaesthetics, critical care and critical care outreach.
At the end of the two years, the trainees will be qualified advanced critical care practitioners with an MSc qualification in advanced critical practice (critical care).
Joining the critical care on-call team, they will have advanced skills in patient assessment, prescribing, diagnosing and technical skills including insertion of central lines and arterial lines, which would previously have been performed by junior doctors.
The advanced practitioners will work with the doctors and nurses, under the supervision of the intensive care consultant.
Doctor Arthur Goldsmith, HHFT clinical director for critical care and anaesthetics, said: “We are extremely proud of the innovative solution we have developed to address the workforce issues we can see on the horizon.
“The changes to junior doctor training will create a manpower gap for us, and we are also continually looking to improve and innovate in the way we deliver critical care across our sites.
“We also wanted to provide career choice for practitioners. Traditionally the ways for nurses to progress are into management or education roles which can take them away from patients. These new roles are focused directly on patient care.”
Lee Berry, who had moved into training before hearing about this opportunity, said: “I was both terrified and excited to be taking up this role and I’m really enjoying it. It’s my dream job.”