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The Faculty of Perioperative Care

Faculty Update by Charlie Auld, FPC Lead

16 August 2022 4:23pm

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I am pleased to update you on the various activities of the Faculty of Perioperative Care over the past year, now that six years have elapsed since its inception.

There has been a 23% increase in Faculty membership, and we have introduced a free complimentary Affiliate membership of the Faculty to trainee SCPs involved in the MSc in Surgical Care Practice courses at three Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), now extended for the duration of their course. This allows the trainee to access a wide range of benefits including discounted rates on  courses, access to Acland Anatomy, quarterly copies of Surgeons News and many other benefits listed on the Faculty website and also available on the RCSEd app.

I delivered a talk about the Faculty to the new intake of trainees at the universities online and hopefully we can return to visits in person soon.

Although our partnership agreements with Plymouth and Anglia Ruskin Universities are already well established, I am glad to report that RCSEd now have a similar partnership with the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine at Edgehill University. The two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on education and engagement of these members of the extended surgical team at a formal ceremony on 4 February 2022. I was pleased to represent RCSEd along with Pala Rajesh, Vice President RCSEd.

Currently the Fellowship of the Faculty with postnominals, FFPCEd, is by invitation and awarded to those who have shown exceptional leadership in education, teaching and training to members of the extended surgical team. I am pleased to announce that recently this has been awarded to Toby Rankin, Programme Director at Plymouth University and Frances Page, Programme Director at Anglia Ruskin university.

We recognise the importance in improving our engagement with Surgical First Assistants (SFAs) and want to ensure the benefits of the Faculty are open to all advanced practitioner groups working in surgery. To help raise awareness of the Faculty and membership benefits, Susan Hall gives presentations about the Faculty at the institutions running courses and modules aimed at SFAs.

RCSEd will be hosting a large international conference, Beyond Covid -19: Impact and Innovation in Chennai, from 6 - 8 October 2022. The Faculty will have a session on the opening day and this will be an opportunity to develop an international arm of the Faculty as there are over 1500 Physician Assistants in India with the majority working in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

From the educational perspective, we are now getting back to running our courses face to face again and the PINTS course took place in Edinburgh on 17 June, once again with excellent feedback. Advanced practitioner groups such as SCPs can access our Basic Surgical Skills Courses run throughout the year and across the UK. There will be the Clinical Research Methodology in a Nutshell Course on 1 September and practitioners will also have access to the Informed Consent Sharing the Decision (ICONS) Course in Birmingham on 20 October.

An Ultrasound Venous Scan Assessment (UVSA) Competency – Based Course for SCPs in Cardiothoracic Surgery and core surgical trainees will be held in Birmingham from 26 - 27 November.

Since our last report, we have delivered a series of webinars on topics such as Enhancing Nursing and AHPs: The Cardiothoracic Journey and Enhanced Recovery for Advanced Practitioners in Surgery. This was followed by two excellent webinars on How Non-Medical Practitioners can get Started in Research, courtesy of Professor Martin Birchall, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

I am pleased to say that we have begun a new series of webinars on the value of the advanced practitioner in the surgical specialties. The first of these, The Role of the Advanced Practitioner in the Breast Team was on 22 June and The Value of the SCP in Trauma and Orthopaedics will be delivered on 7 September. There will also be a webinar on the Intercollegiate Logbook for Advanced Practitioners in Surgery by David Large on 18 October.

Access to this archive of webinars is one of the benefits of joining the Faculty.

The Faculty has also launched a series of podcasts. On 6 June, I shared the aims and objectives of the Faculty in the pilot episode and this was followed by The Role of the SFA and the Challenges Faced by Mark Robertshaw and Training on the MSc Course for SCPs by Sally Stuart.

There were 319 participants at our 7th FPC Annual Conference, The Extended Surgical Team: Education, Research and Governance, held virtually on 19 November 2021. One session was devoted to practitioners presenting their own work and the prize for the best presentation was awarded to Louise Strickland, SCP trainee at Anglia Ruskin.

The programme for the 8th Faculty Annual Conference, The Surgical Multidisciplinary Team: Delivering Safe, Skilled and Effective Patient Care is now complete, and we look forward to welcoming delegates again in person on Saturday 19 November 2022 on the RCSEd campus. The list of confirmed speakers includes Consultant Surgeons, a Consultant Solicitor, Electro Surgery Consultant, a Surgical trainee, and advanced practitioners themselves.

On Friday 18  November, there will also be a Surgical Skills Workshop which will cover laparoscopic skills, surgical stapling, the latest suture technology, and other aspects of surgical simulation. This will be a great opportunity to bring delegates to the College and we are hoping to provide a guided tour of the Surgeons Hall Museum in addition to the busy programme of activities.

Over the past 18 months, The Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh have formed a Project Board for the Extended Surgical Team to develop and launch an updated curriculum framework to support SCPs to become qualified by obtaining the MSc in Surgical Care Practice. I am pleased to report that this has now reached completion and has been approved by both College Councils. We are now beginning to embrace the Medical Associate Professions in Scotland through NES and the second MAPs workshop will be taking place in August 2022.

In summary, RCSEd has been at the forefront of promoting the roles of the non-medical practitioner groups in surgery but it is our responsibility to ensure the education and training is provided to develop this workforce as well as set standards for safe patient care. As one can see, we are working with partners at sister surgical colleges, HEIs, educational bodies such as HEE and NES and government departments to achieve this.

Charles D Auld