New Clinical Audit Tool set to enhance patient care

A new clinical audit tool designed to transform how risk management strategies are identified and implemented within the operating theatre environment has been launched.

Harrogate-based Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), has launched AfPP Perioperative Audit Tool; 2019 Edition, a robust audit tool that will assist both private sector and NHS theatre practitioners in creating a safer perioperative environment.

The tool comprises peer-reviewed standards and recommendations for safe perioperative practice and forms a ‘gold standard’ framework for operating theatre departments to examine service performance and identify potential improvements in patient care.

As the UK’s leading membership organisation for operating theatre practitioners who put patient safety at the heart of all they do, AfPP created the tool for the theatre practitioners to review their current audit process and invest in the safety of their patients.

Dawn Stott, CEO of the association said:

“There is a strong need for perioperative audits to include an independent assessment of practices that formally declares organisations have met/exceeded specified criteria pertaining to patient safety.

“Audits must have meaning. If it is just a case of ticking boxes to achieve 100% compliance, then it is not an audit, it is a tick box exercise.

“There needs to be structure around understanding what you are auditing and why. Digging down underneath the surface during any audit is essential to ensure you fully understand how things are being done.”

Currently, the one-party authorisation audit process adopted by many organisations involves doing only what is legally required of them to stay compliant.

The AfPP audit tool will provide the opportunity for departments to go beyond just being compliant, and take steps towards reducing clinical error, attaining quality assurance and improving staff wellbeing.

Dawn added:

“Departments often have to wait for CQC to perform audits. Our audit tool provides the opportunity for them to self-audit elements of the perioperative process whilst they wait and request a member of AfPP to come along and perform the third-party audit.”

For over 50 years, AfPP have worked with professional bodies such as the Department of Health UK, to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, sterile services departments and associated areas.

The tool adds to the collection of peer-reviewed perioperative resources available to purchase and is a revised version of AfPP Perioperative Audit Tool, Edition one.

Dawn commented further:

“Our mission as an association is to ensure that current standards and guidance are up to date and encompass the changing environment in which perioperative practitioners work.

“In line with our mission and with patient safety in mind, we reviewed our existing audit tool and created a revised edition.”

The AfPP Perioperative Audit Tool; 2019 Edition, will showcase at the association’s annual residential conference, held at York University between 8 and 11 August 2019, in front of hundreds of perioperative professionals.

To find out more or to register interest, please email