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New Position Statement on Surgical First Assistant Role

Released on - 20/04/2018

New Position Statement on Surgical First Assistant Role

The Perioperative Care Collaborative has today released a new position statement on the advanced role of Surgical First Assistant.

The Perioperative Care Collaborative (PCC) first reviewed the Surgical First Assistant (SFA) role in 2003 and since then the role of non-medical perioperative practitioners assisting the surgeon has continued to evolve. This new position statement supersedes the PCC’s 2012 statement and includes key recommendations to ensure surgical practice is safe for both patients and staff.

The updated document emphasises the governance arrangements to support the role of the SFA and clarifies the development of additional skills and knowledge to meet service demands. The PCC encourages practitioners to utilise this position statement, which is advocated by professional organisations and associations to be the basis for safe and effective practice.

AfPP President Adrian Jones comments: “As a member organisation of the PCC, AfPP has played a crucial role in developing this new position statement and we hope that it will give members clear guidance on policy, competencies, accountability, governance arrangements, and scope of practice. The statement is a key document for current and future SFAs as well as the wider perioperative team, and we would encourage practitioners to ensure they are familiar with the new guidance.

AfPP’s Surgical First Assistant Competency Toolkit, accredited by Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, continues to support acquisition of the clinical skills required to provide safe surgical assistance support within a perioperative surgical team.

Adrian continues: “With a cohort of over 800 practitioners having already used this toolkit, the current edition will be reviewed and revised to meet practice changes, now supported by the publication of the 2018 SFA Position Statement. I would encourage practitioners to use AfPP membership to access support, advice and information on the future proofing of this important development.

“Thank you to all those involved with the PCC for their dedication and contribution to this project, which will no doubt have a positive impact on patient care and safety over the coming years.”

Members can download the full position statement on the Standards and Guidance page and contact for more information. The AfPP Surgical First Assistant Competency Toolkit (3rd Edition) is available by calling 01423 881300.

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