Publish date: 13 May 2024

This article was edited on 14 May to clarify the colleagues mentioned are celebrating both ODP Day and International Nurses Day.

Shining a light on Operating Department Practitioners

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) play a major role in each phase of a person’s operation.

They provide high standards of skilled care and support during each phase of a person’s care – anaesthetic, surgery and recovery.

This year’s ODP Day takes place on Tuesday, 14 May and is an opportunity to celebrate our ODP colleagues at the Trust and help share information about the critical roles they play in a modern NHS.

To mark the day, and the recent International Nurses Day, two colleagues who work in Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Theatres, spoke of their experiences and what their different roles mean to them.

Bev Haughan qualified as an ODP in 2008, before this she was a healthcare assistant on the Maternity Unit for 12 years.

Bev’s role is split between a Scrub Lead and a Surgical First Assistant. She explained: “As on ODP being part of a team knowing you are directly contribute to patient care and helping people through challenging times and improving health outcomes brings a sense of fulfilment.”

Bev explained that a role as an ODP brings with it many opportunities: “ODP’s have opportunities for professional development and career advancement, which I did, and also provide surgical first assistant (SFA) to the surgeons.

“The combination of meaningful work and teamwork gives job satisfaction and pride in my role.”


George Howitt started working at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in 2001 as a Domestic Assistant, becoming a Healthcare Assistant on the Day Surgery unit between 2014 and 2016.

Following this, his career path saw him starting clinical escort in Theatres until 2017 when he began his Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship course with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) until 2019.

After this he practiced in Theatre Recovery and began a Nursing Apprenticeship Degree, also with UCLan, which he completed in 2022. He completed a top-up course via Edge Hill University in December last year and is now practicing as an Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse.

He explained what the job means for him: “I believe I bring adaptability, current learning skills and techniques for anaesthetics, along with nursing skills such as catheterisation, venepuncture, ECG, and wound and pre-operation assessment on the Same Day Admission unit.

“I also work on the Day Surgery Unit facilitating post-operative patients, with their care, diet and fluid requirements, making sure they are ready for same day safe discharge to their usual places of residence.

“The job means a great deal to me, as I am able to facilitate safe patient care within different areas of the division, hopefully facilitating a safe and pleasant patient experience.”