Next week will see the first national awareness day to specifically mark specialist staff who work in hospital operating theatres.
The awareness day highlighting the contribution made by operating department practitioners (ODPs) to patient care will take place on Monday 14 May, the union Unison has announced.
“We hope that this day will enable ODPs to share the diverse nature of their role with the public”
It said the first National ODP’s Day will be marked across the country with activities including operating theatre tours, bake sales, and careers talks at schools.
The College of Operating Department Practitioners, which is affiliated to Unison, has declared that the day will be an annual event to raise the profile of ODPs and their crucial NHS role.
The event comes two days after International Nurses’ Day on 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
“These dedicated NHS staff work tirelessly behind the scenes at every stage of an operation2
Unison head of health Sara Gorton said: “These dedicated NHS staff work tirelessly behind the scenes at every stage of an operation.
“They ensure patients receive the best care, from the moment someone is anaesthetised to their discharge back to the ward,” she said.
“The aim of this annual event is to celebrate their work and raise the profile of the profession,” she added.
CODP president Hannah Abbott said: “We are delighted to celebrate the key role of the ODP in providing safe, high quality patient care both within the operating theatre and the wider hospital environment.
“We hope that this day will enable ODPs to share the diverse nature of their role with the public so that there can be a greater understanding of this exciting profession,” she said.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is among the health service providers celebrating the day. It said there would be lots of festivities happening, as well as staff on hand to discuss any questions about the operating department.
Jo Hughes, education and practice development practitioner for theatres at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “National ODP day is the perfect opportunity to bring forward the amazing work done by our staff.
“A lot of people don’t realise that there is a dedicated team, with varied roles, that help a patient during their operation,” she said. “Our event at the hospital on May 14 will help us celebrate our unique team, who work hard to ensure those having operations are supported from beginning to end.”