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Surgical First Assistant Focus Group: Building Futures

Released on - 07/10/2020

Surgical First Assistant Focus Group: Building Futures

Surgical First Assistant Focus Group: Building Futures

Lindsay Keeley, Patient Safety and Quality Lead is leading AfPP in an exciting project, which involves looking at the future roles of the perioperative workforce. This is a complimentary approach to the work done by The Perioperative Care Collaborative and is aimed at gathering practitioners’ views on how the Surgical First Assistant (SFA) might be developed and supported alongside the rise in demand for perioperative services.

In order to gather these important perspectives, the first phase of the project involves inviting SFA’s to participate in a focus group. 

What is a focus group?

A focus group is a relaxed and informal gathering of 10-15 practitioner-participants where an AfPP team will facilitate discussion relating to the development and support of the SFA role. It is a form of qualitative research in which the group will be asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a product, service or concept.  Questions are asked in a remote interactive group setting and participants are given the opportunity to talk openly with other group members.  Sufficient time will be allocated to allow participants to clarify any themes, questions, discussions and points raised during the session. You will also be asked to complete and sign a consent form before the focus group commences. 

It is important that all participants are allowed the opportunity to speak out and allow others the same courtesy i.e. one conversation only.  During the sessions notes are taken to provide feedback and ideas from the group, the session will also be recorded.  

Details of the focus group sessions are as follows:

  • 1.5 hour duration maximum via a remote platform 
  • Recording will take place but all data will be kept anonymous and confidential


  • Tuesday 27 October at 8.00pm 
  • Wednesday 28 October at 8.00pm 
  • Thursday 29 October at 1.30pm 
  • Saturday 31 October at 10.00am  

Focus group themes:

  • Current roles
    What roles/duties do SFAs currently undertake?
  • Staff training
    What staff training is available to maintain service provision?
  • Service needs 
    Where has the service changed? Is there any gaps where a solution is required?
  • Career aspirations
    What roles/duties could SFAs do in the future?
  • Rewards and recognition in practice
    What career aspirations are present?

All information collected in relation to this project will be treated with the strictest confidence and all personal details that could identify any individual will be removed. 

Your contribution to this project will be extremely valuable to influence the advancement of the SFA role and the support AfPP can provide for you.

Should you wish to participate in one of the focus groups, please contact who will log your interest and we will then contact you with further information.  Places for the sessions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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