By: 18 April 2023
Perioperative charity AfPP announces moving and handling study

Harrogate-based charity, AfPP, have announced the launch of an investigative initiative into the moving and handling training that is provided within the perioperative environment.

AfPP are committed to improving patient care by enhancing the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals who work around the operating theatre.  

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations requires employers and employees to avoid, assess and reduce the risk of injury caused by improper manual handling. Within the perioperative environment, this often goes further than the typical lifting of boxes, and extends into the moving and positioning of patients. 

Within the operating theatre, it is essential that a patient is in the appropriate position for the surgical procedure being undertaken. This may involve moving a patient into a prone position (lying flat on their stomach) or manipulating a part of the body, to allow easier access to the surgical incision site.  

Government guidance states that “the content of any training in good handling technique should be tailored to the tasks the workers carry out.”  

AfPP are keen to gain a better understanding of the training that is being undertaken within the perioperative environment, as this will be the foundation for future guidance in this area.  

Commenting on this study, AfPP Patient Safety & Quality Lead, Lindsay Keeley, says: “Manual handling of patients in the perioperative environment is a potentially hazardous procedure to both patients and staff. It’s important that safe and appropriate patient positioning provides optimum exposure for operative procedures whilst safeguarding both patients and staff. 

“In recent years greater emphasis has been placed on the development of manual handling equipment and safer manual handling techniques, requiring further understanding. 

“To ensure there is a safe environment for patients and perioperative staff alike, it is important that there are suitable recommendations and guidance in place. To develop these recommendations, we must first gain an understanding of the training that is currently being undertaken.  

“We require input from perioperative professionals to further the work in this area to benefit practitioners and patients moving forward. By improving the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals, we can enhance patient safety and improve outcomes for patients undergoing surgical procedures.” 

The survey takes an average of two minutes to complete and can be accessed here: 

This survey concludes on 30 April 2023.