The anaesthetic department plays a key role in supporting many of the activities across our hospital sites.

We aim to provide a caring, high-quality service to patients using appropriate, modern equipment and drugs. A major commitment is providing anaesthesia and analgesia in the operating theatres throughout the hospitals and our care of patients begins pre-operatively, with the anaesthetist visiting their patients before the procedure to discuss their management. Care extends into the post-operative period to make sure patients are stable and comfortable after surgery. Anaesthetists also provide 24/7 service to labour ward to support women during with labour epidurals.

If you have a particular query about your anaesthetic, the Royal College of Anaesthetists offers a full range of information.

Intensive care

Patients who are too sick to be looked after in the general wards are cared for in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where there is a higher level of nursing care and more sophisticated treatment and monitoring is available. Doctors from the anaesthetic department oversee all the patients in the intensive care unit.

Support for the maternity unit

An anaesthetic service is vital to the maternity unit. Anaesthetists provide an on-demand epidural service to give pain relief for women in labour. Anaesthesia is also required for caesarean sections (emergency and planned) and we work closely with the midwives and doctors within our maternity units to support our patients.

Emergency care

As a department we also provide a 24-hour service for emergency surgery, trauma, and maternity care. We also provide dedicated medical cover to the critical care areas, as well as playing a key role in the trauma team and the cardiac arrest team.

Pre-assessment clinics

These are designed to enable us to review your needs and minimise any risks for those requiring surgery. Most of the pre-assessment is carried out by trained nurses, with consultant anaesthetists seeing higher risk patients. This enables patients who have complex needs to be seen by experienced anaesthetists who can discuss a planned approach and answer and queries at this early stage.