Assistant and Trainee Assistant Practitioners
An Assistant Practitioner (AP) is a health and social care worker who delivers health and social care to patients with a level of knowledge and skill beyond that of the traditional healthcare assistant or support worker. They are qualified to deliver elements of health and social care and undertake clinical work in domains that have previously only been within the remit of registered professionals. In many cases this healthcare delivery role would also transcend many of the boundaries that have hitherto been strictly demarcated between different professions. They also have the underpinning knowledge and assessed level of competence to undertake such a role (North West Workforce Development Confederation, 2003). The role is aimed at filling the gap between the current unqualified staff and the registered professionals (Skills for Health).
Health Education North West (HENW) requires healthcare organisations to plan their workforce and identify the Trainee Assistant Practitoner (TAP) numbers that they require 12 months in advance. Proposals are sent to the HENW, identify the exact number of TAPs that are required for the following academic year.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Role
This section will help answer all your queries regarding developing the role of the Assistant Practitioner within your department
Preceptorship for Newly Qualified Assistant Practitioners
Newly qualified APs will receive a Preceptorship pack to enable them to settle within their new role.
Preceptorship is a period of transition for newly qualified practitioners to support them on their journey from novice to expert (DOH, 2008). Within the Trust this is available to all new qualified employees and those who are new to the Trust with the exception of medical staff. The Preceptorship period is four to six months however this may vary according to the individual need and local circumstances (NMC 2006).
Code of Conduct
This Code has been adapted from the Assistant Practitioner Coordinator Network in England Code of Conduct (2011) which was based on the Codes of Conduct developed for Scotland and Wales. This code describes the standards of conduct, behaviour and attitude required of all Assistant Practitioners working within WUTH.