Operating Theatres Conference

NHS England have set out an ambitious three-year plan back in February 2022, aimed at tackling the surgical backlog that has reached a record high following the pandemic. With a major milestone on the horizon to reduce wait times over a year by March 2025, we take a look at the progress being made and how trusts around the country are collaborating in order to drive down waiting times.

Join Salford Professional Development for their 10th annual conference where industry leading speakers from all corners of the healthcare sector will come together to dive into captivating discussions on the key issues operating theatres are currently facing, alongside how they are driving innovation and utilising technology to support their practices.

Hear unravelling insights on how to enhance sustainability, boost surgery productivity, amplify effectiveness, and work together in order to drive down the surgical backlog, ensuring a person-centred approach. This isn't just theory – it's practical wisdom you can immediately apply to your own surgical team.

Case study examples and our panel of experts will illustrate how teams have transformed their practice and brought innovative solutions into play such as the HVLC delivery, GIRFT, Robotics and Sustainability action plans, and how they are tackling challenges facing the trusts theatres and beyond.

At a glance

AJ Bell Stadium
6/02/2025 - 6/02/2025
£0 + VAT
211 places remaining

*** We don’t accept delegate registrations from suppliers. Please click here for sponsorship details. *** 

Learning Outcomes

  • Review how surgical hubs and operating theatre efficiencies are driving down the surgical backlog, and how the NHS are tracking against their 3-year plan to combat long waiting lists
  • Describe and understand how Human Factors can affect the delivery of the Surgical Safety Checklist
  • Provide an insight into how innovative project management enables teams to simplify processes and deliver improvements.
  • To evaluate the impact and succession of an executed operating theatre green initiative plan
  • To understand how the three pillars of sustainability play a role in operating theatres
  • To be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of how robotics and innovative technology are reshaping the surgical landscape through a panel discussion.
  •  Gain valuable insights and practical tools to create a more supportive and nurturing environment within the operating theatre for staff’s wellbeing.

Agenda 2024

Take a Look Back at the 2024 Agenda

**Agenda for the 2025 Conference TBC**


Registration, Refreshments, Exhibition and Networking


Opening Remarks from the Chair

Mark Rigby
Head of Theatre Services, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Keynote Session: What makes a perioperative environment safe?

Bhuvana Bibleraaj
Professor of Nursing/Surgical Practice, The University of Salford


Session Title: Improving Operating Theatre Efficiency through Innovative Project Management

  • Insight into the application of innovative Project management skills within the clinical practice
  • How to simplify processes and deliver improvements in operating efficiencies with better workflows
  • Achieving alignment with the National Pathway Improvement Programme
  • Enable the development of local HVLC delivery plans
  • Improving session utilisation with a focus on improving quality, safety and productivity with a strong focus on the patient pathway
Ajay Sooknah
Head of Operations for Surgery, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust


Session Title: TBC

Helen Lowes
National AHP Education & Training Lead for Operating Department Practitioners, NHS England


Refreshments, Exhibition and Networking


Session Title: Qualitative research results from across NHS England regarding the W.H.O surgical safety checklist.

  • Following the launch of NatSSIPs (2) on the 23rd of January 2023, we look at if the guidance is clear, and will it lead to a drop in intraoperative Never Events
  • Discussion on the findings from the Delphi study regarding the surgical safety checklist
  • What do NHS England theatre Managers/Matrons/Educators believe are the main reasons why Never Events in the operating theatre keep occurring?
  • Exploring what the W.H.O and NHS England could do to improve the SSC thus reducing Never Events
  • Discuss NHS funding to upskill staff on the non-technical skills required to help deliver the SSC
Nigel Roberts
Head Theatre Practitioner (Head of Nursing), Birmingham Women’s and Childrens NHS Foundation Trust


Session Title: Introduction to how digital preference cards can increase utilisation, reduce waste, and improve civility within the operating theatre.

  • What do digitised preference cards look like
  • Procedure preference cards available and accessible to the entire surgical team to upskill, align and inform all
  • How a more informed and aligned workforce can lead to benefits such as an increase in productivity, a reduction in waste and a happier workplace for all
  • Can providing up to date preference cards to new starts reduce on boarding time
Neil Holland
UK Sales Director, Incision


Session Title: SSI surveillance in England: improving patient outcome following surgery through surveillance

  • SSI surveillance in England  (trends in participation, SSI risk factors/SSI risk, key developments in surveillance, impact of COVID).
Pauline Harrington
National SSI Surveillance Manager, UK Health Security Agency


Lunch, Exhibition and Networking


Panel Discussion: Supporting Faster Recoveries and Better Outcomes Through The use of Robotics and Innovative Technology

  • Highlighting Key insights, challenges & perspectives from a panel of experts, covering how innovative technologies are shaping the operating theatre.   
Numan Shah
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Salford Royal NHS Foundation
Sotonye Tolofari
Consultant Urological Surgeon, Salford Care Organisation
Wei Yao
Professor in Robotics, North of England Innovation Centre (NERIC)


Case Study: Greener Theatres and Environmental Issues Affecting Clinical Services

  • Successes and challenges of Greener operating theatre initiatives 
  • Impacts of sustainable practices to NHS Trusts
  • Achieving net zero in healthcare 
  • The sustainability journey at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in the green strategic plan
Janet Smith
Head of Sustainability, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Dr. Meenu Netke
Consultant Anesthetist, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust


Refreshments, Exhibition and Networking


Session Title: Overcoming inequalities in NHS waiting lists

  • How structural, economic, and social factors can lead to inequalities in the length of time people wait for NHS hospital care
  • Looking at how the NHS can take an inclusive approach to tackling waiting list to contribute to a more equitable health system
  • Providing recommendations for local trusts and ICB’s to address health inequalities through elective recovery through a joint working partnership
Ruth Robertson
Senior Fellow in Health policy, The King's Fund


Session Title: The Three Pillars of Sustainability 

  • Economic pillar, thinking about the cost of equipment/consumable and how we use them and why it is important to limit waste
  • Social pillar, focusing on where our surgical equipment is coming from and ensuring it is ethically sourced.
  • Environmental pillar, looking at the NHS plans for net zero and examples of how we can get there.
Nikki Stroud
Sustainability SIG Lead, AFPP


Closing Remarks from the Chair

Mark Rigby
Head of Theatre Services, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Who Should Attend?

Operating Theatre Technicians, Surgeons, Operating Theatre Practitioners, Anaesthetists, Theatre Team Leaders, Theatre Managers, Theatre Directors, Surgical Care Practitioners, Surgical Assistants, First Assistant to the Surgeons, Healthcare Assistants, Theatre Support Workers, Assistant Practitioners, Hospital Operating Theatre Porters, Healthcare Assistants, Commissioning Heads, Heads of NHS, Directors of Public Health, Heads of Public Engagement, Directors of Commissioning, Heads of National/Regional Public Health Groups, Heads of Treatment and Prevention , Directors of Strategic Development.


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