Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Lynzie Middleton

MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Advanced Clinical Management of Chronic Disease

MSc Clinical Pharmacy

Having already gained several qualifications at Sunderland, Lynzie Middleton is now coming to the end of studying for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner apprenticeship. The apprenticeship, and particularly the additional module around managing chronic diseases, has allowed her to develop her professional skills and knowledge, benefitting her in both her roles in clinical pharmacy.

I currently hold two roles within clinical pharmacy. Working as a Clinical Pharmacist for Hetton Group Practice, I provide advice to clinicians and patients alike. I also support nurses through their prescribing qualifications and perform face-to-face assessments on patients while making diagnoses and developing management plans. As a trainee Advanced Clinical Pharmacist (ACP), I’m working in paediatric oncology for the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, where I assess patients as part of their acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cancer treatment. This involves interpreting blood results and making decisions based on these, performing physical examinations, and prescribing chemotherapy and supportive care for patients.

Prior to studying at the University of Sunderland, I obtained my undergraduate pharmacy degree, as well as a diploma in clinical pharmacy. I then came to Sunderland in 2012, studying on the Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists course. I have since continued my studies here, acquiring a PgCert in Academic Practice, MSc Clinical Pharmacy, and now currently undertaking the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner apprenticeship.

Taking on an apprenticeship means balancing work and study, and I’m managing this by utilising my ‘off-the-job’ learning time and taking feedback on board from my patients and clinicians to ensure I’m providing the best possible care. Despite facing some challenges, I’ve felt very supported by the GPs in my practice, who are always there to listen to my ideas and offer constructive feedback.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner has allowed me to develop at my own pace and push myself to learn and understand more about the patients I see, both in practice and the hospital. It’s helped me progress in my career, as I’ve moved from a traditional clinical pharmacist role to a practitioner, where I can assess patients more independently. The skills I’ve gained have also benefitted my organisation, as it’s meant we can open up more appointments, as well as look at what the Primary Care Network (PCN) team can offer the practice.

As I’d completed additional studying prior to starting my ACP course, during my second year, I was only required to complete the leadership module. I felt that given my role in primary care, it would also be useful to undertake the Advanced Clinical Management of Chronic Disease module due to the number of patients I deal with who have one or more chronic diseases. This gave me insight into the role of specialist teams and built on the knowledge I already had, enabling me to improve my management of the patients I see in my ACP role. It’s given me more confidence to work as an autonomous practitioner – I’ve been able to identify patients likely to experience heart failure, organise appropriate tests, and refer them to secondary care when needed.

I’ve just completed the end point assessments for my ACP role, so I’d like to explore how my role can be further developed within the practice going forward, but also discover what other opportunities are available to me.

If you’re looking to study an apprenticeship at Sunderland, I’d recommend any health professionals to consider the ACP course. It’s made me a more rounded practitioner and allowed me to develop to a new level I never thought possible when I initially qualified. As long as you’re organised, it’s achievable and very enjoyable. I’ve loved the face-to-face teaching, which is delivered by specialist professionals within their scope of practice. All the staff are friendly, supportive, and approachable, which makes studying a lot easier. If you’re unsure, arrange to speak to one of them for advice as they’ll be able to address any concerns you have.”

Published 17 May 2024

More case studies