AECC University College one of three HEIs awarded a tender to deliver training for First Contact Practitioners

AECC UC has been awarded a contract by Health Education England to be one of only three providers of training for the First Contact Practitioner (Musculoskeletal) workforce in England.

A First Contact Practitioner (FCP) is a diagnostic clinician working in Primary Care at the top of their clinical scope of practice. AECC University College is delighted to be able to offer the FCP Level 7 modules for the development of the MSK workforce into these new roles, working with Health Education England. 

This means that a patient presenting to a GP practice with an MSK condition can see a FCP at their first appointment, accelerating their MSK assessment, treatment plan and (if appropriate) investigations and referral. As regulated MSK practitioners, FCPs work at an Advanced Level. The core principle of an MSK First Contact Practitioner service is that the patient sees the most appropriately skilled healthcare professional, in a primary care setting, as their first point of contact.

The first intake of the PGCert First Contact Practice (subject to validation) will start in April 2022 and the course has already seen significant interest. Successful applicants will have their tuition fees paid by Health Education England and supported by the Primary Care training hubs to transition into a role in Primary Care at the end of the first unit of study, before commencing Unit 2.

Dr Neil Langridge, Director of Clinical and Rehabilitation Services at AECC University College, whose previous role in the NHS was to lead the team who wrote the competencies for FCP, said: “Having been involved nationally in the development of FCP, I’m really pleased that AECC University College has been successful in this tender.

“Not only are we going to be running FCP through our clinical services on campus, by hosting FCP on site in partnership with Bournemouth Primary Care Network, but we will be delivering the FCP course that NHS staff can access. Our unique set-up will mean we can even offer some placements to those on the course.”

Professor Lesley Haig, Vice-Chancellor of AECC University College said: “I’m delighted that we have been successful in achieving this tender. We are very proud that this has been awarded to AECC University College, and it is a really positive outcome for Dorset and the South-West region. By working in partnership with our colleagues in the Dorset Primary Care hub and the FCP fellows, we have managed to reach this very positive outcome together.”

Find out more about the First Contact Practice course