Non-medical practitioner roles in the UK: Who, where, and what factors influence their development?

Jenny Abraham, Liz Bailey, Jane Coad, Becky Whiteman, Rosie Kneafsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: traditional health workforce roles are changing, with existing roles being extended and advanced, while new roles are being created, often undertaking duties previously completed by doctors, sometimes referred to as non-medical practitioners (NMPs). Aim: to investigate which NMP roles exist within the UK, mapping distribution, and explore factors influencing their development and recruitment. Methods: two descriptive, exploratory, online self-completed semi-structured questionnaires were used. One was sent to all NHS acute healthcare providers (n=156) and private/independent healthcare providers in England (n=90). A separate questionnaire collected data, using convenience and snowballing approaches, from NMPs across the UK. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive and frequency statistics. Qualitative data derived from open questions and comments were analysed using content and thematic analysis. Results: healthcare organisations in England returned 23/246 useable questionnaires; 115 NMPs returned responses, 19 did not meet the criteria, leaving 96 useable responses. Conclusion: seven NMP roles were identified, throughout the UK, with regional variation. Several factors influence the development and recruitment of NMP roles in England such as service delivery and national policies. Inconsistencies were noted in Agenda for Change pay banding. Many practitioners undertook NMP roles to progress their career clinically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-939
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 MA Healthcare Ltd.


Funding Information:
Acknowledgement: the authors thank Health Education England and National Institute for Health Research for funding this study, Coventry University (Masters in Clinical Research) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust for their support


  • Acute care workforce
  • Advanced clinical practitioner
  • Non-medical practitioner roles
  • Service development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-medical practitioner roles in the UK: Who, where, and what factors influence their development?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this