FICM comments on Medical Associate Professionals Consultation

12 October 2017

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine is deeply disappointed by the recommendations in the consultation document released today on the Regulation of Medical Associate Professions in the UK which conclude that Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs), Physician Assistants (Anaesthesia) and Surgical Care Practitioners do not need formal regulation. 

ACCPs are an integral part of the critical care team providing timely care which must include the ability to prescribe independently. Since the FICM’s inception we have been working to create a home for trained and training ACCPs, a curriculum for their training and supporting education for their development. ACCPs provide an essential solution to the growing workforce issues within critical care.

Regulation has been a long-term aim of the Faculty and the wider critical care community. Benefits of regulating ACCPs include:

  • Assuring the public that patients are safe in critical care.

  • Defining a clear workforce solution with a protected title for critical care units.

  • Establishing a formal career pathway for experienced critical care nurses and Allied Healthcare Professionals and retaining them at the bedside.

  • Allowing others beyond nursing and Allied Health Professionals to become ACCPs.The absence of regulation will limit access and expansion of this novel workforce.

  • Creating a new type of profession by formally regulating all four groups originally identified as Medical Associate Professionals (MAPs), was an innovative solution to recognising practitioners operating at a similar level in very different areas and opening up the opportunity for new groups to be recognised as MAPs in future in much the same way as medical specialties are recognised.

It is therefore a significant disappointment for ACCPs and critical care as a specialty for regulation to not be recommended as it fails to address the disconnect between existing regulation and clinical practice.

We hope that the Department of Health will listen to the comments from the consultation. We urge patients, relatives and all healthcare professionals in the critical care community to make their voices heard on this important issue.  We hope our colleagues in anaesthesia and surgery will do the same.

Access the full consultation here.