In 2016 the Sussex Heart Charity agreed to work in partnership with the Brighton and Sussex Universities Hospital NHS Trust to invest £500,000 to support the development of the first Cardiac Advanced Clinical Practitioners in the county.
Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACP) are highly trained specialist nurses and allied health professionals who can fulfil the roles previously provided by junior doctors. The clinical practitioner team will be able to fully assess patients, request and review investigations and formulate patient management plans in conjunction with the surgical and anaesthetic teams.
The Sussex Cardiac Centre is the first cardiac surgery unit in the country to move to a stand-alone Advanced Clinical Practitioner care service. This model of care has been shown to improve patient safety and quality of care. ACP teams will improve patient flow through the cardiac unit and reduce length of stay.
In addition, the ACP teams will maximise junior doctors’ training opportunities. This will ensure high quality trainee applications going forward, further enhancing patient care.