First for Wales: physio to study on ACCP course

Tom Bromfield is set to become what is believed to be the first physiotherapist in Wales to study on an advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP) programme.


Tom Bromfield: ‘I hope this promotes the good work that physios do in critical care’

He will leave his post as a senior physiotherapist in critical care at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital next month to start a master’s-level course run by Plymouth University.

This is a distance-learning programme and Mr Bromfield will be based in Morriston’s intensive treatment unit, only attending the university for examinations.

When he completes the course, he will join a group of specialists working in critical care. The role of the ACCP crosses professional boundaries, including medicine, nursing, technical, physiotherapy and clinical pharmacology. Although the role is potentially open to all allied health professionals, it has mainly been taken up by nurses.

As part of their role, ACCPs provide comprehensive clinical assessments of a patient’s condition. They also request and perform diagnostic tests.

‘This is not a door that is commonly open to physios, but it is achievable,’ Mr Bromfield said.

‘I was inspired by three nurse ACCPs on our unit. Working with them made me realise that the role was a possibility for me. I decided to pursue this, even though it took me two and a half years to get the relevant competencies to apply.’

He added that he hoped his example would inspire other CSP members to look beyond the traditional boundaries of their profession.

Joanne Mahon, interim head of physiotherapy at Morriston Hospital, said ACCP posts typically go to established band 7 critical care nurses.

‘It’s a fabulous achievement for Tom to get through the arduous selection process,’ she said. ‘He is the first physio in Wales to undertake this training and one of only a handful in the UK.

‘This will be great loss to the physiotherapy department, but at least he is staying with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board.’

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