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The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) was established as the National Association of Theatre Nurses, known as NATN, in 1964. It is a registered charity working to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, associated areas and sterile services departments. It aims to enhance the quality of care in the NHS and the independent sector throughout the UK.
In April 2005 NATN changed its name, structures and systems in recognition of the significant changes that were happening in the healthcare sector. The reference to theatre was regarded as too restrictive a name with many members working in associated perioperative environments The ‘perioperative’ emphasis was regarded as important to further accommodate the growing numbers of Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) and Healthcare Support Workers (HSWs) who were previously not eligible for full membership.
AfPP also works to encourage the exchange of professional information between members and co-operation with other professional bodies. These include the Departments of Health, the Perioperative Care Collaborative, the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting Advisory Committee (Scotland), the medical Royal Colleges, CNOs of all four member countries, Skills for Health and many of the British Safety Institution Committees and other groups set up to discuss specific issues.