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The Faculty of Perioperative Care

Building on Success

3 May 2020 9:33am

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Charles Auld, Faculty of Perioperative Care Lead

3 May 2019


I am delighted to update you on the progress of the Faculty of Perioperative Care on completion of its 3rd year following its inception in March 2016. The Faculty has been created to support all advanced non medical practitioner groups in surgery, offering many benefits similar to the surgeons who have affiliated with RCSEd.

Courses and Conferences

CPD is the process which allows the practitioner to improve their knowledge skills and professionalism by keeping up to date but there needs to be a balance between internal and external activity. The Faculty has developed a series of courses specifically designed for the non-medical practitioner in surgery. Over the past 6 months, the courses on the Extended Surgical Team in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Leadership and Development held on the 2 Nov 2018 the day prior to the annual conference  in Birmingham were well attended and very successful. The course on Non-Technical Skills (PINTS) held in Edinburgh in Jan 2019 is always popular and received excellent feedback. Currently we are in the process of modifying our key skills course to make it appropriate for PAs and ACPs who may be required to provide surgical assistance as well as for SFAs to develop their extended skills. Our Basic Surgical skills courses are accessible to SCPs as noted previously.

In addition to the above courses, the archived webinars covering topics across all the surgical specialties are accessible to all membership categories of the Faculty. The 4th Annual Conference “ The Perioperative Practitioner: Working within One's Scope of Practice“ was held on 3rdNov 2019, attended by over 100 delegates, and summarised in an article “Meeting Expectations“ in Surgeons News March 2019. Once again, the feedback was very reassuring, with 94% reporting the conference met their expectations. A poster competition was introduced at this conference with the theme of exploring the practitioners’ contribution to surgical care with a certificate and College Quaich presented for the best poster. The 5th Annual conference will be held on the 9 November 2019 with interactive workshops on surgical assistance and patient safety being held the previous day.

Partnerships with Universities

Over the past year, RCSEd has developed partnerships with Plymouth and Anglia Ruskin universities, both of whom run the MSc courses in Surgical Care Practice for SCPs. A similar process is being developed with Edgehill University. The agreed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will allow the College through the Faculty to promote the courses held at these institutions, supplementing their programme with ad hoc lectures by surgeons from RCSEd, as well as providing a best student award at the MSc graduation ceremony. In addition, the students in the first year of the programme will be enrolled as free Affiliate members of the Faculty with the associated benefits of the membership. The support and collaboration between the organisations will help to educate and engage this practitioner workforce in improving the care of the surgical patient.

Membership of the Faculty

In the year up until November 2018, overall membership increased by 73%, but over the past year Fellowships of the Faculty have been awarded to senior practitioners and surgeons who have been nominated for their outstanding contribution to the education, teaching and training of the non-medical practitioner in surgery. At present all 3 surgeons, being approved by our Awards committee, so far are from the Cardiothoracic speciality, so look forward to receiving nominations from other specialities! It is worth reminding you that both full Members and Fellows will be elected at one of the Colleges prestigious diploma ceremonies being awarded MFPCEd and FFPCEd respectively. The criteria required across the 5 domains for full membership are on the Faculty website and for Affiliates with a PG diploma/MSc the remaining criteria are not difficult to achieve!

Cardiothoracic Exit Exam

The national exam for Cardiothoracic SCPs was originally introduced by the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (SCTS) in 1997 but now run by RCSEd. It has recently been updated to consist of a single best answer (MCQ) paper and structured viva. Candidates are expected to have competed a minimum of 18 months in Cardiothoracic surgery. Successful completion of the exam will contribute to the award of the full membership of the Faculty. The exam is fully supported by the SCTS and the recent diet was run successfully in March 2019. It is certainly a blueprint for other specialities to follow.

Medical Associate Professionals

The Medical Associate Oversight Board (MAOB) was set up in 2016 to establish a common education and training pathway to statutory regulation for 4 groups of practitioner (SCP,PA, PAA and ACCP ). The Regulation of the MAPs in the UK document has now been published by the Department of Health and Social Care in Feb 2019. Irrespective of the decision not to grant statutory regulation for all 4 groups at present, it is nevertheless important to develop a common standard across all 4 MAPs in areas such as CPD, ongoing competency assessment and appraisal which should be consistently applied across the UK. After chairing a Task and Finish group at HEE, I am pleased to report that Gillian Manning and I have produced a document “Establishing common standards for CPD, Assessment and Appraisal Guidelines for MAPs” (2019 ) which will be a useful reference for MAPs, Colleges and Employing Organisations to refer to in order to ensure these practitioners receive the recognition they deserve.