Introduction This paper will explore the role of the Assistant Practitioner (AP) in an innovative a 6 month collaborative pilot project between Leicestershire Partnership Trust and the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice to test a model of care delivery through AP’s working across the hospice and community settings as an integral part of both health care teams.
2 trainee assistant practitioners from each setting (n = 4), with the support of mentors, undertook 4 rotational work placements between the hospice and community, supplemented by monthly study days
An action research model was used to evaluate the pilot and support a real-time development of the role and included qualitative interviews and focus groups (n = 4) with assistant practitioners, mentors (n = 5) and managers (n = 3), alongside analysis of the adopted competency framework and reflective diaries
Findings The AP’s : were skilled and able to provide continuity of care following patients through from home to hospice and back; they helped develop inter-organisational understanding of ways of working; freed – up registered nursing time, offered support to HCA’s. The main challenge related to changing policies during the life of the pilot to allow the AP’s to fully embrace an extended role. This presentation will focus on the success and challenges in the development of the cross organisational working and the AP role, the views of stakeholders and the benefits to patients.
Conclusion Hospice and community settings were convinced of the value and utility of the role and are looking to recruit AP’s as part of their long term staffing policy. However, each organisation sees a different focus for the role and they are not yet ready to embrace the concept of shared posts working across organisational boundaries.
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