December 11th 2014
LDfA presented ‘How I run an operating theatre’. Our speaker was Catherine Cameron, who gave an insightful presentation on the behind-the-scenes running of a busy tertiary centre theatre suite.
She began by outlining the structure of the trust and within the surgical directorate, where there appeared to be a complex hierarchy or clinical and non-clinical management. She explained how she worked closely with the clinical director for anaesthetics, theatres and ambulatory services.
Catherine went on to describe the governance targets that consume part of her working life. Slides showing the targets set by Monitor (the body that regulates Foundation Trusts) showed that as a trust, they were meeting the 18-week referral to treatment targets and that they had zero MRSA cases, although accumulutaively, they had failed on the number of C.Difficile cases.
It is important for her to report on the overall efficiency of the theatre suite, and showed us data collected regarding the number and type of cases performed, whether they were elective or emergency. It was important to note details regarding list cancellations, and their specific causes were carefully detailed. The three most common causes of list cancellations were lists over-running and lack of ward beds including HDU/ICU beds.
Lastly, she detailed the QIPP targets in the department for the years 2013-2014, and for 2014-2015. It seems that there were many ‘efficiency’ savings made a year ago. For 2014-2015, there is a higher target to achieve, but fewer savings seems immediately apparent, meaning it will be harder to achieve these targets for a second year running, putting pressure on time, staff and resources.