First Contact Practice | AECC University College
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First Contact Practice

First Contact Practitioner (FCP)

Allied Health Professions bring a unique set of skills to primary care. A First Contact Practitioner (FCP) is a registered allied health professional who is the first point of contact for patients, providing expertise and increased capacity to general practice and providing patients with faster access to the right care.

FCPs are qualified autonomous clinical practitioners who are able to assess, diagnose, treat and discharge a person without a medical referral – where appropriate. FCP sits within the clinical pillar of Advanced Clinical Practice, and therefore the clinician is working towards Advanced Clinical Practice.

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PGCert First Contact Practice

Become a First Contact Practitioner (FCP) supporting and improving the treatment and management of clinically complex patients in General Practice.

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First Contact Practice Portfolio Route

After completion of your Learning Needs Analysis you may be directed towards the supervised portfolio route to FCP rather than the taught route.

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FCP and ACP Supervisor training courses

We are offering half and one-day online courses designed for individuals currently engaged in or aspiring to supervise First Contact Practitioner and / or Advanced Clinical Practitioner learners.

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What does an FCP do?

  • Manages undifferentiated undiagnosed conditions.
  • Able to identify red flags and underlying serious pathology and take appropriate action.
  • Works within practice, across PCN, multi-organisational, cross professions and across care pathways and systems including health, social care, and the the voluntary sectors.
  • High level complex decision making to inform the diagnosis, investigation, management, and on referral within scope of practice.
  • Actively takes a personalised care approach to enable shared decision making with the presenting person.
  • Contributes to audit and research projects.
  • Contributes to education and supervision within their scope of practice for the multi-professional team.
  • Facilitates interprofessional learning in area of expertise.
  • Promotes and develops area of expertise across care pathways.
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FCP at AECC University College

At AECC University College we are delighted to be able to offer a wide range of NHS England funded FCP provision from September 2023 which includes both the taught and portfolio route to FCP recognition; roadmap supervisor training; and a Community of Practice. We are working closely with NHS Primary Care Training hubs to deliver this provision.

FCP is not new at AECC but growing! Our FCP course started in March 2022 for the MSK roadmap but we are very excited to be offering all 5 roadmaps from September 2023, with funding from NHS England for student fees. This means that you will be joining a multi-professional programme, benefitting from learning with peers across the AHP professions, all working towards developing your ‘AHP super-power’ as a First Contact Practitioners. AECC University College is recognised by the Centre for Advancing Practice as meeting the FCP roadmap stage 1 and 2 requirements.

There are five First Contact Practitioner Roadmaps – there are musculoskeletal; paramedic; occupational therapy; dietitian; and podiatry. Roadmaps to Practice are supportive documents that provide a clear educational pathway from undergraduate to advanced practice for clinicians wishing to pursue a career in primary care. This ensures that a gold standard of care can be provided for patients, putting their safety at the forefront. Our taught and portfolio routes to FCP are aimed at providing HCPC registered physiotherapists osteopaths, podiatrists, occupational therapists, dieticians and paramedics the opportunity to develop as competent, evidence based first contact practitioners.

Why Study First Contact Practice at AECC?

  • Our FCP course is recognised by the Centre for Advancing Practice as meeting the FCP roadmap stage 1 and 2 requirements
  • We are one of only a handful of providers of training for First Contact Practitioners in England with funding from NHS England, meaning your tuition fees are covered for the course.
  • You will be supported by the Primary Care training hubs with appropriate placement opportunities to transition into a role in Primary Care at the end of the first unit of study, before commencing Unit 2.
  • We deliver both FCP education and clinical services which means we are in a unique position to be able to offer FCP placements for MSK practitioners in our fantastic onsite clinical services here at AECC UC.

Additional Information

Clinicians completing the capability framework will be recognised by Health Education England’s Centre for Advancing Practice and will be placed on a First Contact Practitioner directory. The capability framework clearly articulates capabilities so that employers and workforce planners can understand what the clinicians can offer to the multi-professional team to enable the best care for their patient population.

It also provides clear guidance of the expected supervision needed to support the roadmap to practice and outlines the bespoke supervision training that a supervisor needs to have completed. By providing a standard of practice there is a solid governance structure around First Contact roles and advanced practice in primary care. This ensures gold standard care and puts our patient’s safety first.

If you have any questions please refer to the Roadmap FAQS or contact us directly fcp@aecc.ac.uk.

Latest News

Discover and read all the latest news, press releases and happenings here at AECC University College.

Ultrasound guided injections.

“I haven’t had any pain since my ultrasound guided injection – it’s wonderful” Says Gila Rose, whom recently visited Clinical and Rehabilitation Services at AECC University College for a steroid injection, using ultrasound for precision and targeted treatment.

MSc Podiatry (pre-registration) Students at TCS London Marathon 2024

Each year, some 60 Podiatrists, both qualified and pre-registration students from all over the UK, descend on the capital to volunteer for the TCS London Marathon. This year, our first cohort of AECC University College MSc Podiatry (pre-registration) students, along with Associate Professor in Podiatry and Course Leader, Simon Otter, joined peers from the Universities of Brighton, Northampton, and East London. The co-location developed a true multidisciplinary ethos and close working relationships with physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, physicians, and the voluntary sector (via St John Ambulance) as part of the wider finish-line medical team.

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