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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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Surgical Care Practitioners

Any operation on the heart is invariably major surgery. Many operations require three skilled operators to be working in parallel in order to facilitate and expedite the operation.

One of the key members of the team at the table are the Surgical Care Practitioners (SCPs). Often from nursing or scrub staff backgrounds, SCPs are highly qualified and skilled operators who undergo years of specialist training. 

The Royal College of Surgeons formalised the role of SCPs in 1994. They define the position as: “A registered non-medical practitioner who has completed a Royal College of Surgeons accredited programme , working in clinical practice as a member of the extended surgical team, who performs surgical intervention, preoperative care and post-operative care.”

Liverpool Heart and Chest currently employs 7 qualified SCPs and 3 trainees who are fully theatre-based in their roles. Their chief responsibilities include:

  1. Operating (removing arteries and veins from the arms and legs independently for use in coronary artery bypass surgery - called “conduit harvest”)
  2. First assisting (providing direct surgical assistance to the operating surgeon in order to facilitate the surgery where, as for most cardiac operations, this could not be done by a single person)
  3. Training junior surgeons (facilitating the surgical experience of both new and experienced non-consultant surgeons) 

Many of the surgical care practitioners have specialist interests which enable them to provide dedicated support in theatre for operations from aorto-vascular surgery, minimally invasive procedures, robotics, off-pump through to adult congenital heart disease procedures. 

Why do we use Surgical Care Practitioners? 

SCPs are experienced in their roles - many will have harvested hundreds of times more arteries and veins from arms and legs than even the most 
experienced consultants. This experience and specialisation means they are the best enabled to ensure that an operation is performed to the very highest standard. All conduit harvest is ultimately the responsibility of the consultant in charge.

Our Surgical Care Practitioners

  • Celia Ireland
  • Jacky Gillespie
  • Alisdair Marshall
  • Linda Morris
  • Daniel Burns
  • Michael Bell
  • Rachel Latham
  • Salomae Sandra
  • Simona Poullis