As an organisation we represent a diverse range of perioperative personnel including:
- Registered Nurses
- Registered Operating Department Practitioners
- Health Care are Assistants
- Nursing associates
- Assistant Theatre Practitioners,
- Surgical First Assistants and Surgical Care Practitioners (both with a nursing or ODP Registration).
I took on the role of President in January this year and will be supported by a President-Elect in January 2022. The current board is represented by RNs and RODPs from academia and clinical practice. We also have representation from experts in the field of finance, infection control, medical devices and clinical management.
The range of roles within the perioperative environment in the UK is ever evolving. AfPP remains inclusive of all, offering professional advice, clinical education, and management support through our membership services. During 2020-21, this has not changed, we have pressed forward with some previous plans, but we have also needed to adapt.
Our intention to update the 2016 Standards and Recommendations of Safe Perioperative Practice still went ahead with many involved in updating or re-writing each chapter. The 2021 edition will available both in hard copy and digital formats by late summer.
With our HQ staff, dispersed remotely, the development of our new website has been delayed. This will be now launched by the end of the calendar year.
AfPP normally organises a number of study days around the UK as well as it’s annual conference. These are very popular and vital to us connecting to our membership ‘in person’. With these not being an option we had the opportunity to trial for free a webinar platform in the early months of the pandemic. These have proved successful, leading us to purchase our own platform and despite charging members, the webinars have gained momentum, providing a valuable resource. It is likely that our future programmes will be a ‘hybrid’ of webinar and ‘in person activities’.
From March 2020 onwards, further engagement with the membership took place with the increased use of our Professional Advisory Service (PAS). PAS is facilitated by two empolyed Registered Practitioners based at HQ who offer advice via email or ‘phone.
We have had to make very difficult decisions two years running regarding our annual August ‘flagship’ conference at York University. Last year it was cancelled with no virtual substitute. Early 2021, with so many uncertainties, we started to organise a virtual event for August 20th -21st, (there is still time to sign up).
AfPP has continued to participate in advisory panels alongside NHS England, the Royal Colleges of Anaesthetists, Surgeons, Nursing and the College of Operating Department Practitioners.
Many of our volunteers have juggled their demanding clinical commitments with their AfPP roles. For some, this has meant having to step down from these roles. However recently, others have volunteered their services. This has given us the opportunity to review our UK wide volunteer structure, including Regional Leads, Special Interest Group Leads, Link Members, and the Board.
I would hope, that in 2022, we can start to look forward to some ‘in-person’ events and activities around the UK and a chance to meet our members face to face.
Lastly, but by no means least, to our membership. This has no doubt been the hardest year in their careers. Despite this, they have engaged with AfPP in areas such as our Professional Advisory Service, Webinars and social media platforms. AfPP is all about them and without them we could not exist.
John Dade RODP
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