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Cheltenham General Hospital

Cheltenham’s vascular department has had surgical care practitioners since 2002. The roles were introduced to help augment the roles of doctors in core and higher surgical training in theatres in the context of reduced trainee numbers. The department went from four to two higher surgical trainees and from two core trainees to one. The introduction of advanced nurse practitioners into the vascular department was accompanied by a contraction in foundation doctors (from three to one F1) and was designed to support those foundation doctors who remained while helping to make up for those who were gone. The medical director highlighted significant scope for further expansion of advanced nurse practitioners, starting with providing weekend cover to the wards. He could envisage a model for the future where wards are staffed entirely by non-medical practitioners reporting to registrars.

This case study can be found on page 46 of the Question of Balance report

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