Our History

Providing support to healthcare professionals for nearly 60 years

The History of AfPP

The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) was established as the National Association of Theatre Nurses (NATN), by Daisy Ayris in 1964.

Today, AfPP is the UK’s leading membership organisation dedicated to theatre practitioners and improving perioperative care.

 Drinks in the car park

The inaugural meeting was held at St James’ University Hospital on May 30, 1964, and was attended by six theatre nurses’ clubs where 235 professionals enrolled at the very first gathering. The first official congress was held in 1965 at the Crown Hotel, Harrogate and to save members money, Daisy provided gin and whiskey from her boot in the car park, so that members didn’t have to pay large drinks bills at the hotel bar! 

The big name change

In April 2005 NATN changed its name to The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP). It also changed its structures and systems in recognition of the significant changes that were happening in the healthcare sector and the wider perioperative environment, and to accommodate the growing numbers of Operating Department Practitioners and Healthcare Support Workers who were previously not eligible for full membership. 

AfPP today

Sixty years later, we’ve abandoned the car-park drinks outlet, grown to over 6000 members and have helped many thousands more perioperative professionals to develop their careers and raise standards in the ever-changing theatre environment.

“Over the years, AfPP has undergone some major changes, but the ethos remains the same,” says AfPP CEO Alex Duke.

AfPP works to encourage the exchange of professional information between members and co-operation with other professional bodies. These include the Departments of Health in the UK, the Perioperative Care Collaborative, the Medical Royal Colleges, Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) of all four member countries, Skills for Health and many of the British Safety Institution Committees and other groups set up to discuss specific issues related to perioperative care.


Daisy Ayris