A better career in Theatres starts at Gloucestershire Hospitals!

About us

We are a friendly, sociable team and work in 32 operating theatres across three sites. We employ 450 theatre staff which are made up of Nurses, ODPs, Surgical First Assistants, Trainee Theatre Associate Practitioners (Scrub), Healthcare Assistants (HCAs), & Apprentice HCAs. We also undertake training and provide mentorship to student ODPs, Nurses and Paramedics.

In the year ending March 2019 we carried out over 60,000 operations!

We cover a wide range of specialities including: Orthopaedics, General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynaecology, Urology, Vascular, Emergency Surgery, Trauma, Head and Neck, Obstetrics and Paediatrics.

We have a team of Practice Educators who facilitate the training and induction of new members of staff and their development thereafter and we encourage our team to multi skill and nurses who join Theatres often combine more than one of the 3 theatre disciplines to add variety to their job role.

There are many opportunities to get involved in the support and development side of theatres through link practitioner roles eg infection control, clinical audit, manual handling, tissue viability, to mention just a few.

Theatres encourage their team to study with the Trust Safety & Quality Improvement Academy and use acquired skills to identify and make changes which improve our patient care.

To find out more about opportunities in our Theatres, visit: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/ and search under 'theatres' under the keyword and 'Gloucestershire' under location. Alternatively, contact our friendly Theatre Practice Team Development Facilitator Rose Stokes

Benefits of working with us

  • There are exciting times in our theatres with the recent introduction of state-of-the-art robotic equipment
  • New Day Surgery theatre build in Cheltenham General hospital
  • New theatre refurbishment plan
  • Job rotation opportunities across theatre sites and in job roles themselves
  • Progressive and proactive Practice Development team
  • We provide local university courses to complement and validate our in-house anaesthetic training programme
  • We provide theatre-specific HCSW Level 3 theatre apprenticeships as a gateway to university BSc programmes
  • A successful ODP apprenticeship programme which is now into its 3rd cohort recruitment

Theatre Nursing team

Nurses work in Theatres as Scrub, Anaesthetic and Recovery Practitioners, alongside Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs). Qualified Nurses who choose a career in theatres will be able to access in-house theatre specific training. Once role competent there are an increasing number of university based training courses that can be undertaken to provide formal validation for the chosen theatre roles.


Scrub Practitioners will participate, as part of the operating team, in a number of roles including the 'scrubbed' role, application of aseptic technique (work carried out under sterile conditions), wound management and infection control.

During this phase the Scrub Practitioner will:

  • wear a sterile gown, mask and gloves and prepare all the necessary instruments and equipment for the procedure. This may involve complex equipment including microscopes, lasers, endoscopes and laparoscopes.
  • work alongside the surgeon, providing instruments, needles, swabs and other materials as required, and be able to anticipate the surgeon’s requirements.
  • have a role in the promotion of health and safety and be responsible for ensuring that surgical instruments, equipment and swabs are all accounted for throughout the surgical procedure.
  • if not scrubbed for a case will undertake the 'circulating practitioner' role, using communication and management skills. Preparing the environment and equipment needed for the particular operating theatre list, assisting the Scrub Practitioner and acting as the link between the surgical team and other parts of the theatre and hospital.
  • a Scrub Practitioner will also prepare equipment for surgical lists the following day, communicating with the multi-disciplinary team ensuring all sets and packs are available.


The Anaesthetic Practitioner will:

  • be responsible for the preparation of a safe anaesthetic environment and equipment
  • carry out the necessary checks on patients coming to theatre
  • assist the patient prior to and during surgery giving safe, personalised and holistic care
  • communicate and work effectively within the team setting
  • use many clinical skills to prepare a wide range of specialist equipment such as anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment, and devices to safely secure the patient’s airway during anaesthesia
  • work alongside the anaesthetist in the provision of safe anaesthesia, being responsible for all controlled and routine drugs


The Recovery Practitioner will:

  • prepare and manage a safe and ready post anaesthetic care bay
  • receive, assess and deliver safe one to one care on the patient's arrival into the post anaesthetic care unit
  • monitor the patient's health, providing appropriate care and treatment until the patient has recovered from the effects of the anaesthesia and surgery
  • assess the patient in order to ensure they are in a stable condition and can be safely discharged to a surgical ward area
  • evaluate the care given during the perioperative phases (anaesthetics, surgery and recovery)

Healthcare Assistants

Our HCAs work as part of the multi-disciplinary team to promote the health and well being of patients undergoing surgery. They:

  • collect patients from the ward
  • prepare the theatre and surgical equipment
  • assist the scrub practitioner in the preparation of sterile equipment
  • assist in preparing the patient for surgery
  • act as the circulating practitioner during surgery providing supplementary equipment as needed by the scrub team
  • accurate recording of operation details and submission of appropriate patient data on Trust computer systems
  • participate in counting instruments and disposables with the scrub practitioner
  • assist the team in preparing the patient for transfer to Recovery
  • decontaminate the theatre in line with infection control policies.


Our Theatres employ apprentices into a variety of roles with a view to supporting their ongoing development within theatres and further education where appropriate.

Find out more about apprenticeships at our hospital here

Theatres Bank

We offer bank opportunities within Theatres. For more information please contact the Theatre Practice Development Team on 0300 422 5323 or: ghn-tr.pdttheatres@nhs.net