As their careers progress, osteopaths continue to develop their clinical skills and many become interested in particular areas of practice. The pathways through which osteopaths develop their clinical skills and interests are diverse, as are the ways in which they inform potential patients about them. This may make it difficult for patients to find the most suitable osteopath to meet their needs. The advanced clinical practice project is exploring how additional infrastructure might support the public to make an informed decision on their care.
The main focus for the project is to understand what would make it easier for patients to find the right practitioner for them. The project team have been consious to involve the profession from the start, speaking to osteopaths and their patients, as well as looking at relevant research and analysing models from other professions. A survey was sent out to the profession early in 2015, inviting feedback on the options identified in the first stage of the research and was analysed by the project team.