AfPP seeks further understanding of bullying in operating theatres

The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) has launched their second nationwide survey in a bid to better understand the challenges faced by those working within the operating theatre and associated areas.

Poor mental health amongst healthcare professionals and the effect it has on patient care is one of the most talked about issues in healthcare. This is true now more than ever, as we live through the Coronavirus pandemic.

The first online survey, which comprised of a series of questions relating to best practice, culture, and behaviour within the perioperative environment, received nearly 800 responses and highlighted bullying as a major issue. 

Dawn Stott, CEO of the association said: "As an organisation we take patient outcomes and the wellbeing of all perioperative practitioners very seriously. In our first survey, an alarming 86% of responders felt concerned about staff wellbeing and the effect it is having on patient safety, with the results indicating that bullying is one of the major factors raising their concern. 86% said they had witnessed bullying within the perioperative environment on more than one occasion, with 71% of these stating they had also been a victim of bullying themselves.

"In addition, when asked whether they would feel able to speak up and report the instances of bullying towards them, over a quarter of respondents said they felt they would be too scared to make a formal complaint."

The Harrogate-based charity has ensured responses will be kept completely anonymous so that theatre practitioners and students can communicate their experiences and concerns honestly.

As the leading membership organisation for the perioperative workforce, the Association for Perioperative Practice put patient and staff safety at the heart of all they do.

For almost 60 years they have worked to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, sterile services departments and associated areas.

Their mission is to improve standards of care and patient safety within the perioperative arena by determining correct standards and promoting best practice, facilitating education and practice development, providing professional support services for perioperative practitioners, providing a forum for partnership with industry and shaping healthcare policy in the UK.

The charity believes that by obtaining first-hand knowledge of the issues those working in the theatre environment are facing, they can further enhance their support to members and the wider perioperative community.

Dawn added: “We launched our Caring for those who Care Campaign at the end of last year. The campaign looks at how best to improve negative cultures within the operating theatre as well as raising awareness of the impact on patient safety. We want to obtain an accurate understanding of the issues our members and the wider perioperative community may be facing so that we can campaign for change."

Those working within the perioperative environment and associated areas are invited to provide their honest thoughts and feedback via the online survey at  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AfPPCftwC2 throughout the whole of June.