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Short Article Open Access

Utilisation of Plastic Surgery Theatres in a Single UK Centre

Abstract

 Given the average cost of a NHS operating the- atre is £1,200 per hour, it is essential that op- timal utilisation is achieved. There are no standard   guidelines for plastic surgery theatre utilisation. UK   governmental institutions have suggested that oper- ating departments should aim for 90% utilisation but   there has been little research to validate the target of 90%. In 2018, the NHS Benchmarking Network’s Operating Theatres project suggested a minimum of   83% utilisation should be achieved by general sur- gery theatres. In this study, the database ‘Opera’ was   accessed to retrospectively analyse plastic surgery theatre times. Theatre utilisation was calculated as a percentage of total scheduled theatre time used by   operative time. This audit aimed to assess the utili- sation of plastic surgery theatres in one NHS hospi- tal. In this study, the overall theatre utilisation rate   was 76.7% with 7.5% of time lost due to late starts   (median 20 minutes), 6.5% of time was used for pa- tient turnover (median 14 minutes) and 12.1% of   time was wasted by early finishes (median 36 min- utes). Theatre utilisation in this study is below the   recommended level. Recommendations: 1. Aim to perform the ‘huddle’ in theatre half an hour before the list begins; 2. Communication of a 30-minute and 15-minute warning so patients can be sent for earlier   to decreased turnover time; 3. Re-audit after chang- es have been made. If start times and turnover times   are improved, there is the potential to add extra pa- tients to theatre lists, increasing theatre utilisation.   Nature works on some fundamental principles which we consider as nature’s norms and which have been   functioning since its creation. Biodegradation of ma- terials is the norm of the nature or is called recycling   of its basic elements. All natural and biological fuels,   animals and plants remains, end up converted into simple compounds and elements to be used up again as natural resources. Human made materials though helped in bringing a revolution in humans lives by providing easily available, abundant, cheap and light   weight materials manufactured from easily repro- ducible and readily available chemicals thus shifting   a complete dependence on these non-natural re- sources. But in the long term that shifts proved costly   to the environment, humans and other living being’s   health. As these are human made synthetic materi- al have been disturbing the fine balance maintained   by nature to dispose of the residual waste. Plastic is one of the major and most important chemical that shaped our lives in the last century until today but unfortunately at the expense of natural balance. Today most of the plastic products are completely bio-ungradable. While improving our life styles by using this cheap readily available material we are advertently fighting against nature’s norms. We as humans have damaged our environment more than we can imagine. When this earth was handed over   to us it was plastic free. We have done all this for dif- ferent reasons, which are all linked with our life style   and habits. Use of plastic in the shape of plastic bags, plastic toys and lifesaving medical instruments etc is now our nature. As plastics are not biodegradable and due to extensive use plastics is one of the major   threats to our environment. The word plastic is de- rived from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning   “capable of being shaped or molded” and, in turn,   from πλαστός (plastos) meaning “molded”[1,2]. Plas- tic is not new to our world, it existed in nature form   even before we invented it, and rather idea of plas- tic came from nature itself. Early plastic was bio-de-

 Harry Lobb

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