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Images of an anaesthetist performing a regional anaesthetic nerve block, and training for anaesthetistsSchool of Anaesthetics

Anaesthesia is a challenging specialty but it comes with many rewards. We work alongside many other specialties in multi-disciplinary teams. It combines knowledge of physiology, basic sciences, anatomy and pharmacology with highly skilled technical procedures, strong communication skills and an ability to cope in stressful situations. As an anaesthetist you need to treat each patient as an individual on a close one-to-one basis.

We provide training which covers both anaesthetics and intensive care medicine specialties for 200 posts across eight hospital sites. Our teaching programmes are monitored to constantly improve the trainee experience and you will benefit from the assistance of an enthusiastic and supportive team.

Anaesthetists form the largest single hospital medical specialty and are involved in many aspects of patient care from newborns to the very elderly, and from elective to emergency operations. However, anaesthetists are also involved in a variety of other areas such as:

  • resuscitation and stabilisation of patients in the emergency department
  • pain relief in labour and obstetric anaesthesia
  • intensive care medicine
  • transport of acutely ill and injured patients
  • pre-hospital emergency care
  • pain medicine including the relief of post-operative pain, plus acute, chronic and cancer pain medicine
  • provision of sedation and anaesthesia for patients undergoing various procedures outside the operating theatre including endoscopic procedures, interventional radiology and dental surgery
  • Perioperative Medicine

Our aim is to train doctors to be knowledgeable, skilful and careful anaesthetists as well as giving them support to develop into the next generation of teachers and leaders.

Wessex is part of the e-portfolio scheme, which is an electronic record of your training activity, and has been developed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Your LLP is used by the ARCP committee to assess how you are progressing.

We run free courses for each part of the FRCA exam and our pass rate is very high (Primary  OSCE/SOE 87.5%, Final FRCA SOE, 2016 100%).

Where we provide training

The hospitals hosting your training will ensure you are exposed to all areas required by the RCOA curriculum, including specialist neuro, cardiac, paediatrics, intensive care, renal, pain management, burns/plastics and obstetric anaesthesia. Our rotation locations are:



Other opportunities for trainees

We have training links with the  Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while other opportunities include fellowships and the chance to get involved in research as part of the trainee-led South coast Perioperative Audit and Research Collaboration (SPARC) group.

What makes Wessex different?

Besides our high-quality training programme and assistance in ensuring your professional development, there is special interest work in the renal, plastics, cardiac, neurological and paediatric fields. There are opportunities to attend regional WAIT meetings, post-FRCA teaching, ACCS training days and a range of subspeciality meetings.

Wessex also provides simulation, patient safety training and is renowned for leadership development and teaching management skills.

Is this right for you?

If you are an enthusiastic, hard-working doctor with a good knowledge of the basic sciences, who can stay calm in stressful situations and work well in a team, a training post at Wessex will suit you.

What to do next

For more detailed information that is specific to either anaesthetics or intensive care medicine, please click on the appropriate links on the right of this page.

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