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Devon intensive care nurse gains national recognition

Ground-breaking work to improve the care of critically ill patients has resulted in national recognition for a senior nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Carole Boulanger, consultant nurse in the trust’s intensive care unit, has spent 10 years helping to create the new national role of advanced clinical care practitioner (ACCP). 

In recognition of her work developing the role, she has been invited onto the board of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, where she will represent ACCPs nationally.

She is the first non-medical professional to be co-opted onto the board. Earlier this year she was also elected to the Council of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine.

ACCPs are trained to manage episodes of patient care with advanced clinical skills. They can diagnose, treat and refer patients, make high-level clinical decisions and will often have their own caseload. 

The role is achieving national recognition with an academic framework and curriculum, which this year was brought under the umbrella of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. It will host regulation, registration and a national examination to formalise the role. 

The ACCP role was piloted in Exeter as part of a national initiative to explore new ways of working in intensive care.

Ms Boulanger said: “As well as being able to care for patients and their families with the additional skills the ACCP role offers, it also means experienced critical care nurses like me will no longer have to make a difficult choice between pursuing a career in the direction of education or management.”

 

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