Anaesthetic organisation endorses course developed by medical device trainers HC Skills International

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A SIGNIFICANT endorsement of medical device trainers HC Skills International has come from the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

HC Skills International logo
The course that Barema have committed to with HC Skills will see medical device company reps trained to a level we can support and it will be tailored to our sector.

A SIGNIFICANT endorsement of HC Skills International has come from the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
The AAGBI, which is the professional body that represents more than 10,500 anaesthetists across the British Isles, has officially recognised a new training course developed by HCS for industry organisation Barema.
Barema is the premier UK organisation representing the interests of companies providing anaesthetic and respiratory medical device support to clinicians and has worked in partnership with HCS to develop a training programme that meets requirements specific to its field of expertise.
In a first for Barema – and for the AAGBI – the new training course has won AAGBI's full endorsement.
This means that individuals successfully completing the course will be able to display the AAGBI logo and be recognised by members of the anaesthetic profession as being fully trained to work in operating theatres and the critical care environment.
To gain endorsement, medtech trainers HC Skills International and Barema worked closely with AAGBI while drawing up learning objectives of the course and had AAGBI Honorary Secretary Dr Richard Griffiths attend the inaugural training day on October 11 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
The AAGBI has committed to promoting the course – the Barema Professional Theatre Access Qualification in Anaesthetics and Critical Care, to give it its full name – to all of its members and to strongly encourage them to demand evidence of training when company reps are present in clinical areas. 
A key part of Barema's mission is to, "maintain the anaesthetic and respiratory sector's enviable reputation for exceptionally high levels of quality, safety and reliability."
The next course, run in partnership with Healthcare Skills, will take place in April 2014.
In August, HC Skills International announced that it had developed in conjunction with Barema a customised course for members of the organisation who are required to be present in operating theatres, intensive care units and other clinical departments to provide technical support for staff using equipment developed by medical technology firms.
Achievement of this new qualification ensures that:

  •     THE duty of care to patients is not compromised.
  •     SPECIFIC knowledge and understanding has been acquired to demonstrate competence in clinical areas.
  •     THE legal and reputational position of the individual as well as that of the employer is safe.
  •     THE legal position of the hospital has not been jeopardised.

HC Skills, which has led training and qualification access programmes for more than 7,000 industry professionals in a host of disciplines, is based at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank, near Glasgow, and is a training partner of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
Director Diane Irvine said: “In today’s environment, there is an increased appetite for compliance. Standards of company training in the medtech industry need to remain high – which is where we come in.”
A spokesman for Barema said: “There is a host of courses available to our members – however, the one we have committed to with HC Skills will see medical device company reps trained and qualified to a level we can support, and It will be tailored to the anaesthetic and respiratory sector.”
Under the prevailing legal conditions in the United Kingdom, no law is broken when medical device company representatives are present in hospital clinical areas. However, those individuals are required to know and understand the protocols which apply in clinical areas, including those pertaining to patient safety, inoculations, background checks, drug tests, infection control, data protection and other relevant factors.
Yet there is no standardisation among hospitals health boards and trusts of what they require in terms of formal qualifications from external representatives, which creates confusion and disorganisation between hospitals and companies.
This is a key problem, because external employees who are required to be present in clinical areas present an unquantifiable legal risk to themselves, their employers and the hospital.
There are significant risks inherent in the presence in clinical areas of medical devices company representatives, who are a non-contracted third parties able only to justify their role in a practical sense – not in legal or professional terms.
Recognised qualifications reduce or eliminate legal risks to hospital managements and to the medical device company – plus they legitimise the product specialist’s extended role.
All HC Skills courses result in government-recognised, externally validated, competence-based qualifications, which ensure that the role of the medical technology companies and their representatives are not compromised.

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David Boyes

David Boyes
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