Flash card team training

We support the view that 'those who work together should train together’. This need for multidisciplinary team training is embedded in our own GPAS recommendations and ACSA standards, as well as being supported by other national reports such as Health Education England's patient safety syllabus and the Ockenden report.  

We know that delivering regular theatre team training can often prove challenging, with time pressures being a common hurdle to overcome.  Flash Card Team Training is an emerging resource providing the opportunity to talk through short clinical scenarios during the busy working day in theatre.  This concept was applied in the design and piloting of a flash card pack at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) in 2019-20 (Burr, Featherstone).  The scenarios included emergencies and patient safety issues with the aim to raise awareness of the human factors which impact on patient safety.  More recently, the RCoA has developed three focused flash card scenarios to highlight the problem of unrecognised oesophageal intubation as part of a wider patient safety campaign.  Evaluation of this campaign has reinforced the value of this multidisciplinary team training tool.  Feedback has also highlighted a demand for more scenarios to reflect the breadth of clinical practice of theatre teams. 

In light of this, we are publishing this flash card starter pack.  This resource is adapted from the EKHUFT flash card pack and comes with a flash card template theatre teams can use to develop their own scenarios according to the learning needs locally.  We also recognise that the implementation process at the local level process has its own unique hurdles.  The accompanying implementation guide breaks down this process into practical steps providing tips to help you make it a success.    

To accompany the flashcard pack, Tom Burr and Alin Popescu shot and edited a demonstration video, below, to show how you might use this flash card pack and involve everyone in the theatre team. (Video copyright Tom Burr and Alin Popescu, made available under Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC-ND).

Tell us how you're using these flash card scenarios. Take our short survey.

If you have any questions or suggestions for these flash card team training resources, please contact us