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A Message from AfPP's President

Released on - 26/03/2020

A Message from AfPP's President

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you working tirelessly to provide care to patients in these unprecedented times. None of us working in health care will have ever experienced anything like this during our lifetimes. The work you are doing exemplifies the spirit of perioperative care.

But it is not without cost. Each and every one of us is doing all we can whilst putting our own health at risk. Organisations are working hard to provide protection but supplies are not always readily available and I have seen some innovative examples of how practitioners are trying to address the shortages. Practitioners are distancing themselves from their loved ones, living away from home, so that they can continue to work whilst minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

As a result the mental and physical wellbeing of practitioners is being challenged. Isolation, anxiety and fear plays havoc with health. We need now more than ever to support each other however we can. Gestures of goodwill and small acts of kindness will mean so much.  Please be assured that everyone at AfPP is here to provide support. Staff at headquarters, the board of trustees and all of our volunteers are committed to ensuring you are not alone out there. 

The Professional Advice Service is available to offer advice and information. We may not have all the answers. This is uncharted territory but we have access to a wide range of expertise and research as it is becoming available. Communication and collaboration with international nurse leaders, colleagues from medical associations and the colleges is ongoing and we will keep you updated with information as it becomes available. 

The regulating bodies have called for retirees, third year students and practitioners no longer in the clinical environment to return or join a temporary register to enable them to help. As an academic I have volunteered to return to practice, as have many of my colleagues. We will need to refresh our skills to ensure standards are maintained, but we are resilient and there is very much a Dunkirk spirit in the air.

Similarly staff are being redeployed to where their skills are most needed. This brings with it tensions and concerns about competency. Training in organisations is being provided and we will support you however we can. Please remember you are not alone. After all this is over we will emerge to a very different provision of healthcare. Lessons will have been learned but not without cost. 

Perioperative practitioners, indeed all healthcare practitioners, are remarkable and I am proud to be one of you. We will do our utmost to care for patients no matter what the circumstances. We will also care for each other – we are all in this together. Take care and stay safe.

Tracey Williams
AfPP President

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