WRT work indicates that the number of practicing operating department practitioners (ODPs) nationally is broadly equal to service demand. However, many NHS organisations report difficulties filling substantive vacancies. ODPs are also due to take over some of the operating theatre responsibilities currently held by midwives. Although the impact of this widened role is yet to be established, it is likely to broadly increase demand from the service for ODPs. Due to this and changes in qualification training, in the short-medium term, international recruitment remains a sensible mitigating strategy for the shortage of ODPs.