Review of the Non-Medical Perioperative Workforce in the HPSS


13 acute hospital Trusts, incorporating 21 hospitals and using 102 operating theatres, provide surgical and medical services in Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Audit Office Report “The Use of Operating Theatres in the Northern Ireland HPSS (PDF 1.3MB)” (2003)  stated:
“There is a shortage of theatre nursing staff in most hospitals, with recruitment proving difficult.”
The report also noted that sizable spare theatre capacity of 37 per cent is a key issue which has to be viewed in the context of Northern Ireland’s waiting lists and waiting times which are currently the highest in the UK.
This project will provide a regional picture of a key element of the workforce essential to deliver on the waiting list targets set in Priorities for Action – the non-medical peri – operative workforce (registered nursing staff, operating department practitioners and nursing auxiliaries) and help to inform regional consensus on the way forward.
Whilst the DHSSPS are currently undertaking a service wide nursing workforce review, it is a broad sweep approach and its remit is the qualified nursing staff, whereas this project will explore the detail surrounding the entire non –medical peri - operative workforce.

The Project

The work to be undertaken will involve:
  • Literature Review of developments in the non medical peri – operative workforce in the other UK countries
  • Development of a survey, to be completed by Directors of Nursing in the relevant Trusts, which will establish a baseline of the current non medical peri – operative workforce within theatres in the Northern Ireland HPSS
  • Focus groups containing representatives from non medical perioperative disciplines and medical colleagues, to establish the views of peri-operative staff re: future workforce models
A consultancy firm will be undertaking the work under the direction of an Advisory Group which will be chaired by Nicki Patterson, Nursing Officer, DHSSPS.

The Membership of the Advisory Group is:

  • Nicki Patterson, Nursing Officer DHSSPS (Chair)
  • Brendan McGrath, Senior Professional Officer, NIPEC
  • Geraldine Magill, Clinical Services Manager, (Chair of Theatre Managers Forum), Theatres, Greenpark Healthcare Trust
  • Daphne Martin, Course Tutor Peri-operative Nursing, QUB
  • Joyce Cairns, Deputy Director, HR Directorate, DHSSPS,
  • Jackie McGrellis, Theatres Services Manager, Altnagelvin Hospital Trust
  • Ruth Smith, Directorate Manager, Theatres, Anaesthetics UCHT
  • Stephen McConnell, Queen Victoria Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust (previously ODP, UCHT)
  • Dr Kieran Fitzpatrick, Clinical Director Theatres and Anaesthetic Services BCH
  • Janet Johnson, ATICs Representative RGH
  • Claire Shaw, Assistant Statistician, DHSSPS
  • Janice Smyth, Deputy Director, Royal College of Nursing
  • Helen Booth, Director of Education, Association of Operating Department Practitioners

Advisory Group - Minutes of meetings

Published Report

You can follow the progress of the project on this website which will be updated regularly. If you wish to discuss any specific aspect of the work please contact:
Nicki Patterson
Nursing Officer

Tel: 028 9052 0794

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