Advanced critical care practitioner

Advanced critical care practitioners (ACCPs) are highly experienced and skilled members working in critical care units. 

Critical care units within a hospital are staffed, equipped and designed to closely monitor and treat patients with life-threatening conditions. Patients may need specialist treatment because one or more of their body systems, such as their heart, lung or kidneys, are not working properly. ACCPs are part of a team of healthcare professionals helping patients on these units. 

male nurse on phone

Working life

You'll be a trained clinical professional, such as a nurse or allied health professional, who has received further training to be able to make critical clinical decisions that can save lives. You're trained to diagnose and treat healthcare needs or refer to an appropriate specialist if necessary. You'll work with all members of the multidisciplinary team including ICU clinicians, surgeons and physicians, nursing staff and allied health professionals.  

You'll be able to apply the theory you have learnt into practice to help patients. Your training and comprehensive knowledge of critical care will mean you'll be able to fulfil a number of tasks including: 

Entry requirements

You're likely to be already trained in a role such as nursing or on one of the allied health professions, such as physiotherapy, and have significant clinical experience in that area. Most current ACCP trainees have a background in nursing.

As well as having a healthcare qualification, you'll also need to meet all of the following requirements to apply for ACCP training:

Training

Trainee ACCPs must complete a two-year programme that leads to a postgraduate diploma or Master's degree. Trainees are also employed by an NHS organisation for the duration of their training. Teaching within hospitals is overseen by a local clinical lead who is responsible for the delivery of the clinical components of the training. 

Regulation 

Professional regulation of ACCPs and the other medical associate professions needs to be explored as they become more widely employed in the NHS. The Department of Health is looking for your views on their regulation in the UK. More information on the consultation including how to share your views can be found on the Department of Health website

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