Anaesthetics and Pain Control

The department of anaesthetics provides anaesthesia, pain and critical care services for the Trust.

Anaesthetists are specialist doctors who provide anaesthesia (pain control) to patients for operations and procedures.  

The majority of our consultant anaesthetists have developed sub-specialist interests, covering a range of practices. They work in 14 operating theatres at King’s Mill and Newark, maternity services, our 12 bed integrated critical care unit as well as other wards and areas.

They provide acute and chronic pain services as well as the retrieval of critically ill patients from Newark and the transfer of critically ill patients to specialist centres in and outside the Midlands.

All anaesthetists also undergo advanced training in resuscitation and are therefore involved in treating the most unwell patients, attending patients in cardiac or respiratory arrest on the wards and in the emergency department. Some anaesthetists also specialise in caring for specific types of pain including pain in childbirth and chronic pain problems.

Anaesthetists meet with patients, and the surgical team, to plan the type of anaesthetic that is most appropriate. This may happen on the day of surgery for straightforward operations, or in a pre-assessment clinic for more complex surgery. Routine checks and preparations are then made for the specific patients on that day's operating list.

Different choices include a general anaesthetic where drugs make patients ‘go to sleep,’ a spinal anaesthetic where a proportion of the lower body is numbed or a regional-block anaesthetic where a proportion of a limb is numbed.  The anaesthetist discusses the choices to enable the patient to make an informed decision.