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Formalization of The Surgical Care Practitioner Role in the UK

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Formalization of The Surgical Care Practitioner Role in the UK
 Miss Jasmina Djordjevic ,  Mrs  Bhuvana Krishnam



Restrictions on time spent by junior doctors in cardiothoracic surgery have lead to surgical duties to be preformed by Surgical care Practitioners SCPs. Department of Health ( DOH)  UK has a fixed training programme, yet SCP roles  vary between hospitals. Our main objective was to assess the role of the SCP nationally and to standardize our professional practise.



All SCPs in the UK were enrolled  into this study by telephone interview and questioners.

35 cardiothoracic centres were enrolled and remaining centres were excluded (paediatric, private or centres without SCPs). Overall, 202 of the 230 questionnaires  sent were   returned for analysis.




170 SCPs and 33 trainees were enrolled of which  71% had RCS exam and  PGDip and 37% had masters .

The centres with the SCPs working in each speciality  is : cardiac ( 100 %), Thoracic ( 80 % ), clinic duties ( 49 %) , ward ( 31 % ) and transplant (26%). Only 35 % of the SCPs had a time allocation for professional development, educational sessions or other further surgical skills training.


Involvement of new technologies Endoscopic vein and radial artery harvesting ( EVH and ERAH) reduces the  patient hospital stay , wound complication and encourages more  audits  and researches.


More than 47% nationally  have Endoscopic programme developed by SCP’s.


New cardiothoracic centre’s implementation of  24hours / 7  SCP service.



We demonstrated that there is significant

variation in the role of SCPs across the UK

and of banding for the SCPs nationally

(band 6 to band 8)


Due to the increasing educational

support (Masterclass curses) organized

by Society of Cardiothoracic

Surgeons ( SCTS )/Association of Cardiothoracic

Assistants  (ACSA) UK ,validated by Royal College

of Surgeons  ( RCS ) UK  and Edinburgh  there is significant

professional upgrade of the  qualified

SCPs to the band 8.



Reinstate of Exit Cardiac Exam  annually organized by ACSA supported by SCTS and RCS  to meet the National curriculum framework  ratified by DOH.


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