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First ODP Day celebrated at Southend Hospital

16 May 2018

Health Care

Last Monday (14 May) marked the first National Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) Day.

Part of the team at Southend for over 50 years, ODPs were originally known as Operating Technicians, then Operating Assistants, before this title changed in the 90s to ODP. Throughout this time they have been an integral part of providing quality patient care along with the multidisciplinary theatre team.

Since the 1960s the ODP role has been greatly expanded and developed; encompassing the whole of the patient's journey through theatres from anaesthetics to perioperative care and post-operative recovery. They also attend peri and cardiac arrests and transfer of patients to outlying hospitals where anaesthetic skills are required.

Victoria Bailey, Band 7 Surgical Team Leader, is the longest continuous serving ODP at Southend Hospital and has worked in theatres for 29 years. She said: "I love my job and wouldn't swap it for the world!"

David Heaver Theatre Manager has been an ODP for 23 years and has worked in various hospitals throughout the UK including Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Royal Cornwall. David said: "I enjoy the management role but love my clinical involvement, which I feel is important for engaging with staff and continuing to provide quality patient care."  

Looking to the future, theatres currently has seven student ODPs, some of whom were Theatres Support Workers and Healthcare Assistants and they have used this experience as a spring board to starting their training.

Clinical Director and Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Blanca Boira explained: "A good ODP gives the anaesthetist peace of mind, they are a step ahead of the game, able to plan for most eventualities. They are truly team players with a lot of specialised technical skills."