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KGH is celebrating national Operating Department Practitioner Day

Some of KGH’s vitally important Operating Department Practitioners are promoting their role

Kettering General Hospital is celebrating the vital role of some of its lesser known staff on national Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) Day, Tuesday, May 14.

Our Operating Department Practitioners will be holding an information stand in our main reception from 9am-5pm and be on hand to explain more about their essential role in our operating theatres.

National ODP Day is a new event to promote the vital work that Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) perform in the NHS every day.

ODPs have been working within the NHS for over 70 years under varying titles but they were only formally identified as a profession in 1971.

At KGH we have 40 ODPs who work in all of our main theatres and also in A&E where they support patients who are acutely unwell and the transfer of patients to specialist hospitals.

ODP Deputy Practice development Lead, Roz Smailes, said: “Last year was the first time that ODPs were given an official day of recognition and celebration.

“We want this to become an annual event at KGH to highlight the crucial contribution we make to the quality of care and safety of patients.

“ODPs duties include ensuring that safety checklists are done prior to an operation. This includes for example checking that all of the machines, drugs and equipment are all ready for use.

“During operations the ODPs work as part of the surgical team doing things like passing surgical instruments to surgeons and ensuring everything is sterile.

“We also support anaesthetists in monitoring patients during their operation and recovery.

“It’s a very interesting, important, responsible and highly skilled job.

“ODPs have traditionally been drawn from within the NHS and staff who have been trained to take on the role include porters and healthcare assistants.

“Today though you can also take a degree course at university and go straight into the job.

“The aim of our information stand is to highlight who we are to the general public and encourage them to maybe think about becoming an ODP in the future.”

Since 2004 ODPs have been a formally regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. Since 2007 they are also classed as Allied Health Professionals – a group which includes radiographers and paramedics.

ODPs are also represented by The College of Operating Department Practitioners.