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Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) in Plymouth celebrating national ODP Day on Thursday 14 May.

ODPs are health professionals whose primary role takes place behind the closed doors of the hospital operating department. They work as members of the anesthesia team, surgical team, or caring for patients during the immediate post anaesthetic recovery phase.

Simon Wintle, Area Organiser for UNISON South West said:

“The College of Operating Department Practitioners, which is the professional body for ODPs and part of UNISON, introduced National ODP Day in 2018. This was a huge success with lots of engagement on social media. One of the main aims of the day is to raise the profile of ODPs who are often not recognised due to the fact their work is so often behind closed doors.  On ODP day in previous years we have thanked ODPs in person and taken cakes in for them; this year we can’t do that so we are sharing images and stories of our ODPs on-line with the hashtag #ODPDay, and thanking them through social media. 2020 is a very special year for the CODP, as it is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the College.”

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust employs about 160 ODPs at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Ian Minards, UNISON Lead Representative at UHPT said:

“An operating department practitioner is a highly trained registered healthcare professional and not only working in the operating theatres either. They can use their expert skills in other areas too, such as, intensive care, emergency department, cardiac arrest teams and even specialise into roles like surgical first assistant and physicians assistant. Wherever you find them, they are an essential part of the multi-disciplinary team and provide compassionate, high quality safe care. Most people have never heard of ODP’s and yet anybody who has surgery in a hospital setting has been under the care of them.

In my experiences with ODP’s I have found them to be a very caring, committed and resilient group of professionals and they are an important part of the #OneTeam and that is why UNISON is so proud to represent them.”

Katy Griffiths, UHPT Head of Perioperative Education Theatre Central said:

“ODP day 2020 will be memorable as we celebrate how ODPs have been deployed to critical care areas across the nation as part of the COVID19 pandemic. ODPs train as specialists in the operating theatre and their expert airway skills have been invaluable during this time. This demonstrates the adaptability of the role beyond the operating theatre and the can-do attitude of the profession.”

Quote from student ODP Paul McNaught:

“My career within the NHS began as a Health Care Assistant on an orthopaedic ward, I started with the ambition to become a Registered Nurse to provide high quality care to patients. I was offered the chance to visit the operating theatres within the trust and from that moment I was hooked and knew that I wanted to pursue a career within surgery. I found the role of the ODP and realised that it is really dynamic and has a great deal of transferable skills as well as good career development opportunities. I have since found that I really enjoy the camaraderie and learning opportunities that I have on an almost daily basis and cannot wait to be able to pursue my ambition of becoming an Operating Department Practitioner.”

UNISON South West were sharing pictures and stories about our ODPs on our social media accounts throughout ODP Day, and we’re calling on members of the public to add their words of appreciation as well using the hashtag #ODPDay.