Claire Stevens

Arthroplasty Care Practitioners Association

Q: What is the Arthroplasty Care Practitioners Association (ACPA)?

A: ACPA is a multidisciplinary association which brings together non-medical healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with joint replacement. Founded in 2005, with a specific aim to support practitioners involved in the long term follow up of arthroplasty patients, our members have a wide variety of roles ranging from pre operative assessment through to acting as first assistant in theatre. Many practitioners are also involved in collecting outcome and research data. Our current membership comprises nurses, physiotherapists and other non-medical healthcare professionals, all of whom work in advanced roles.

Q: What is your role in the association?

A: I am a co-opted committee member and alongside another committee member, have specific responsibility for developing a mentoring service for new practitioners. By background, I am an occupational therapist and have a special interest in quality of life post joint replacement.

Q: What is the aim and vision of ACPA?


  • To provide a forum for discussion on the development of a national standardised programme of arthroplasty review
  • To support training of Arthroplasty Care Practitioners including an annual meeting for educational purposes
  • To work with the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) and associated specialist societies to achieve common goals
  • To support joint registries including the National Joint Registry (NJR) and Scottish Arthroplasty Project (SAP)
  • To promote research into joint replacement

Q: Who should join the society?

A: Membership is open to all non-medical healthcare professionals involved in the care of arthroplasty patients. Current fees are £40 a year and entitle members to reduced costs for annual conference and study days, regular e-newsletter and access to a members only website.

Q: How closely do you work with surgeons or with medical device companies?

A: Our members are involved in a variety of clinical roles which require close teamwork. Many practitioner posts have only come to fruition due to the insistence of surgeons who want to ensure that safe and effective patient care is not overshadowed by the productivity agenda. The most successful posts are those where both the practitioner and the surgeon have worked side by side to develop a role which balances the needs of the service with the needs of the staff, so that clinical experience for surgeons in training is not adversely affected and the practitioner is not thrown into a “pseudo” doctor role.
ACPA has also been working towards a unique alliance with the British Orthopaedic Association and has excellent links with The British Hip Society (BHS) and The British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK). Since 2006, our annual conference has met alongside BHS and BASK on alternate years, which has proved popular with both ACPA members and surgeons.
Many of our members are involved in implant specific outcome studies and follow up.
We also have strong links with the National Joint Registry and the Scottish Arthroplasty Project.

Q: What projects are you currently working on?

A: Ann Price, our current Vice President and Jill Pope, our previous education secretary have been heavily involved with the Skills for Health project which aims to provide guidance on competencies for staff working in pre-operative, intra-operative, acute follow up and long term follow up roles. Ultimately this should enable the development of a nationally transferable role.
Jill has also been the driving force behind the development of The Liverpool Arthroplasty Image Interpretation Course, a two day course in association with The University of Liverpool which specifically focuses on the interpretation of arthroplasty x-rays, particularly those which are failing.
We have a hip study day planned for 2nd November 2010 in Birmingham and a joint conference with The British Hip Society, March 2011, in Torquay.