Theatre Assistant Practitioners within the Operating Department

Closed 9 Jun 2024

Opened 12 Mar 2024


Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT)

Unlocking the Potential of the Band 4 role within Theatres Survey - Phase 2 Theatre Assistant Practitioners

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) is a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients through in-depth review of services, benchmarking, and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

The programme undertakes clinically led reviews of specialties, combining wide-ranging data analysis with the input and professional knowledge of senior clinicians to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved.

One aspect of the programme is to support elective recovery by enabling an effective and efficient workforce. My specific project is to unlock the potential of the band 4 role in Operating Theatres by exploring the role of RNA (Nursing Associates) and TAP (Theatres Assistant Practitioners). Plus identifying potential for reducing variation, improving career opportunities, enabling parity of roles and staff satisfaction.

This is a multi-part survey (depending on your workforce) and will be exploring the below, dependant on what your Operating Theatre department currently has in place.

  • the role and activities of RNAs and TAPs working within Operating Theatres.
  • the impact of the RNA and TAP role on the activities of other multi-disciplinary team members working within operating theatres.
  • multi-disciplinary team members’ perceptions of the RNA and TAP role on benefit, patient safety, theatre efficiency, productivity and risk.
  • challenges and facilitators to the introduction of the RNA and TAP role in Operating Theatres.

Your contribution will support the development of guidance on scope of practice, roles and responsibilities, a career framework and guidance on implementation of the RNAs and TAPs into the Operating Theatre workforce, in collaboration with colleagues and key partners. The findings from this survey will be shared with respondents.

The questionnaire should be completed by whoever is responsible for/involved in supervision, allocation and education of RNAs and TAPs.  For example, Theatre Matrons, Department Managers, Practice Educators.

Before completing this questionnaire it may be helpful to review the questions and collate the relevant information. Completion of the questionnaire should then only take approx. 10-15 minutes. A PDF version of the questionnaire is attached for reference.

Should you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, please do not hesitate to contact Nannette Gallagher-Ball

Thank you in advance for supporting this work.

Why are we collecting the data?

The results from the questionnaire will be used to support NHS England’s GIRFT programme in its duty under the Health and Social Care Act 2022, to protect and promote the interests of people who use health care services by promoting provision of health and care services which are, inter alia, economic, efficient and effective.

GIRFT is a national programme overseen by NHS England that aims to be deliver quality improvement in patient outcomes through peer-to-peer discussion with clinicians and managers in Trust and wider local partners. It combines wide-ranging data analysis with the input and professional knowledge of clinicians to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved.

Results from the questionnaire will be used for only two purposes (1) to support NHSE GIRFT with the Elective Recovery Programme (2) to support recommendations as part of the Theatre National Board and the Joint Peri-Op & Theatres Workforce Delivery Group (and associated stakeholder groups).

What type and level of data is being collected?   

The questionnaire will not collect patient identifiable information. The questions cover both quantifiable and qualitative themes with some responses requiring a brief narrative explaining. Most responses will be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or will be multiple choice. Information provided will be considered alongside local and national data for benchmarking analysis.

The questionnaire will request the name and contact details of the person who submits the responses to allow GIRFT to follow up for clarification if needed.

Who will access the data and how will it be further shared?

The results from the questionnaire with respondent’s name and email address will be stored within the secure IT environment managed by NHS England. Data will be accessed by only a small number of GIRFT staff (approx. 3-5) that have NHS England permission to use the secure NHS England IT environment. Data will be regularly backed up and will be stored until no longer required for the purpose of the GIRFT programme, at which point they will be deleted. Anonymised (names and email addresses removed) respondent-level data may be shared with NHS employees outside NHS England. Aggregated data may be published, but only where there is no risk of identification of individual respondents.  NHS England may also share anonymised data internally with other NHS England employees to support our wider efficiency and productivity programmes and delivery of all statutory responsibilities.


By filling in this questionnaire, you agree that the GIRFT programme can use the data as described above.


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  • Getting it right first time (GIRFT)