Making surgery safer: non-technical skills of anaesthetists, surgeons and scrub nurses

  • Flin, Rhona (Coordinator)
  • Georgina Claudia Fletcher (Coordinator)
  • Steven Yule (Coordinator)
  • Lucy Mitchell (Coordinator)


Description of impact

Non-technical aspects of clinicians' performance, including cognitive errors and lack of teamwork, are a common cause of adverse events for patients. A series of studies at the University of Aberdeen identified the non-technical skills of operating theatre staff, and developed behavioural rating systems for their evaluation. The resulting skills frameworks for anaesthetists (ANTS), surgeons (NOTSS) and scrub practitioners (SPLINTS) have been adopted and implemented by these professional groups, across the UK and elsewhere in the world.

The resulting impact has been on healthcare professional standards, guidelines and training. Practitioners have used these research findings and tools in the conduct of their work.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)


  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience