The theatre cap challenge is a campaign promoting the idea of writing your name and job title on your theatre cap in order to improve recognition and personalisation of care in theatres.
Alison Brindle, Student Midwife at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, came up with this idea and was the first person to add her name and role to her own theatre cap.
Alison said: “The idea of the theatre cap challenge came about through conversations with my colleague Emma Gornall, our Delivery Suite Ward Manager. The campaign started through our discussions about humanising care and giving women and their partners or families a better birthing experience, which is really important to us at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. We spoke about how everyone in theatres looks the same, and it is hard for patients to identify us despite having had conversations previously. Being able to recognise someone when you’re in a theatre can make you feel a little more comfortable and feel that you can put your trust into someone. It also makes the patient aware of what each person is responsible for as they have their job role on their cap too.”
Alison then decided to take this initiative more widely and created a hashtag #TheatreCapChallenge to share on social media to encourage more staff to participate. A huge amount of people began to get involved with the campaign, including an anaesthetist from Australia who wanted to implement a similar campaign to improve patient safety through easier identification of colleagues.
Alison said: “The campaign went viral very quickly and the initiative is now being used in NHS hospitals throughout the UK, and beyond. I am so pleased that this idea has been so well received and that we are able to improve experiences for our patients in theatres in this way.”
Alison and Emma will be presenting their abstract for the #TheatreCapChallenge at the national Royal College of Midwives Annual Conference in October. Gail Naylor, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said: “The theatre cap challenge is a fantastic campaign and we are delighted with how successful it has been not just in our own hospitals, but in other organisations too. We are always looking for ways to improve experiences for our patients, and being able to create a more personalised experience will enable patients in theatres to feel that little bit more comfortable. We are incredibly proud that one of our student midwives came up with this idea.”