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Association of Surgical Care Practitioners Inaugural Conference 2023

27 July 2023 10:38am

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The 22nd April, Manchester, saw the inaugural Association of Surgical Care Practitioners (AoSCP) conference take place. Hosted by Edge Hill University (EHU) at their St James’ building centre, based in the city centre, with Surgical Care Practitioners (SCP) journeying from around the UK to attend. The Faculty had the opportunity to exhibit at the event and speak with delegates about the benefits of being a member of FPC.

In this blog, AoSCP Chair, Nicholas Fletcher shares his insight on the day.

After much hard work and some lessons learnt by the AoSCP team, the day had finally arrived, with a full programme planned, everything was ready. So, to be greeted by the police first thing in the morning informing us that there had been a break in on the floors above the EHU rooms, there was concerns that this was a crime scene, and the conference was in jeopardy! However, this was quickly dismissed by the police and that the area we were using was not affected, although we couldn’t use the main entrance, instead used the side doors, phew!

Anyway, with the initial drama sorted it was on with the conference. An introduction from EHU MSc Surgical Care Practice course leader, Sally Stuart, welcoming everyone to the venue, followed by AoSCP Chair, Nicholas Fletcher, welcoming everyone to the conference and setting out the day’s events.

Frances Page, Course leader for Anglia Ruskin University’s MSc in Surgical Care Practice took the first session, discussing the new SCP curriculum and the 4 pillars of advanced practice.

This was followed by Jo Cresswell, President of British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS), looking at the legal implications of consent, a kindly eleventh hour replacement speaker, Jo did a great job of addressing the salient points on this topic.

Following a short break where the delegates had chance to grab a coffee, a bite to eat, network with other SCPs and speak with conference sponsors representatives from Novus Med and Olympus Medical, the next session was a panel discussion. The topic at hand was SCPs, Medical Associate Professionals or Advanced practice? A panel consisting of SCPs Brad Russell and Jon Broughton, Paul Forsythe from NHS England and Karen Smith from the RCSEng answering question on where SCPs sit currently, where they may be in the future, as well as possible development in the recruitment of practitioners. This discussion could have filled the day and perhaps need more time to fully address the topic, but some though provoking views for the delegates to consider none the less.

The next two topics dove tailed well together with SCP Emma Tindall discussing the work her team have done to develop career mapping and Jon Boughton on building a team of SCPs, followed by SCPs Gerard Mawhinney and Dr Louise Strickland sharing their examples of career development, including PhD, research and qualification to Consultant Nurse.

After lunch, Jo Cresswell, speaking as initially planned this time, set the scene for the future surgical workforce, highlighting pressure and solutions to the problems ahead.

An online presentation from the RCSEng’s Kenny Webster on courses that the college can offer, such as CCRISP course and Train the Trainer overview was given.

Three SCPs presented on the innovations they have led on, with RCSEd FPC Lead Juliette Murray and Sally Stuart judging them. The winner, SCP Vicky Harding, winning a place on Train the Trainer course, kindly donated by the RSCEng.

Closing remarks saw Nicholas Fletcher thank all that attended, the sponsors, speakers and guests. The day was a great experience from all that attended with opportunities to discuss the role, its development and future. We look forward to next year.

Oh and the police caught the two intruders still in the building, a couple of floors above the conference room. Successful day all round… well for most!!


Jo Cresswell (BAUS President) Setting the future scene of the Surgical Team.


SCP Presentation of their innovations in practice – Vicky Harding winner presenting.