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Speciality: Anaesthetics

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/379

Specialty Information:

Training in Anaesthetics in North of Scotland is provided by NES, through the North of Scotland School of Anaesthesia, based in Aberdeen and Inverness (Raigmore Hospital).

Training programme is structured to deliver the Anaesthesia Curriculum 2021, produced by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Anaesthetics is a stand-alone training programme, but the training can also be combined with a CCT in Intensive Care Medicine (ICM). For more information on dual training in ICM, prospective candidates are advised to consult the RCoA website.


Hospital Rotations:

Aberdeen and Raigmore Hospitals are approximately 100 miles apart, so it is not possible to commute daily. Both have most surgical specialties in close proximity. Trainees rotate between these hospitals based on their training needs and availability of training posts between the two hospitals.

In Inverness most of the anaesthetic training is provided through the Raigmore hospital site, although some training may take place elsewhere, including in the new National Treatment Centre. While in Aberdeen training is delivered across Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Woodend Hospital and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, which are all in close proximity to each other.

For Stage 1 training (August 2023), 2 CT1 posts will be based at Raigmore hospital and 6 CT1 posts will be at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

For Stage 2 training (August 2023), 4 ST4 posts will be based in Raigmore Hospital and 7 ST4 posts in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (NHS Grampian). Trainees will rotate to the other site in ST5 to complete their training.  

Training Programme:

Stage 1 training (CT1-CT3): Both Raigmore hospital and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary can provide general training, ICM, Obstetrics and Paediatrics for Stage 1 of the curriculum.

This will involve structured training based on Anaesthesia Curriculum 2021. Due to differences in clinical workload between the sites, there may be local variation in how Stage 1 training is delivered at each of these hospitals. It is currently anticipated that all of Stage 1 training will be based at a single site. While every attempt will be made to allocate posts as described, changes may be required to meet training needs of individual trainees or due to requirements of the wider programme.

Stage 2 training (ST4-ST5): In August 2023, posts will be based in Raigmore Hospital and in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Trainees will start ST4 programme in Raigmore or in Aberdeen and will rotate in ST5 year. ST5 year and all of Stage 3 training will be completed in the same hospital, providing a stable training environment.

As per the 2021 Anaesthetics curriculum, training will be split into general and specialist areas. While training in general block and ICM can be provided at either of the above sites, specialist training in obstetrics, paediatrics, cardiothoracic, neurosurgical anaesthesia, and chronic pain can only be delivered in Aberdeen.

Stage 3 training (ST6-ST7): This is undertaken entirely in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or in Raigmore hospital. During this stage trainees will get exposure to generalist areas and a Special Interest Area (SIA year). Training will focus on developing skills required for working as an anaesthetist with generalist interest. More focussed training in a Special Interest Area (SIA) provides an opportunity to develop a career in a specialist area.

All trainees will undertake duties on the out of hours rota, currently at banding level 1A. On-call work covers general theatres, obstetrics, paediatrics, and ICU. There will be immediate, local or distant consultant supervision at all times.

The North of Scotland School participates in the national Primary and Final FRCA examination preparation courses with local courses also available. Trainees are provided protected teaching time to attend weekly teaching and study leave for attending relevant courses. All trainees have Educational Development Time as recommended by the RCoA, to develop the Generic Professional Capabilities of 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum.

Trainees will get opportunities to teach in a variety of environments gaining valuable teaching skills. There are excellent clinical skills centres providing simulation-based training at both sites. Trainees will be able to get involved with research and QI projects at both hospitals.

Other information:

Aberdeen is situated on the North Sea coast and is a major port city the oil & gas and emerging energy transition industries. NHS Grampian is one of the main employers in the area and provides primary and secondary care for a large geographic region.

The city has excellent amenities and good transport links with other major cities in the UK and Europe. The city is large enough to have a city buzz but small enough to travel to countryside within minutes. Most trainees reside within a short commute of the hospital. There are several good schools close to the hospital. Proximity to the Royal Deeside and the Grampian mountains (summer and winter) allows Aberdeen to provide a perfect mix of rural and urban lifestyle choice. There are several family friendly beaches in and around Aberdeen, providing idyllic locations to relax and enjoy.

Inverness sits at the mouth of the River Ness on Scotland’s Moray Firth coastline. It is the capital of the Highlands of Scotland and has excellent facilities for culture, sport, and recreation. It too has good transport links with rest of the UK, making it a popular tourist location. A major attraction of the city is its proximity to the mystical Loch Ness and the rugged mountains of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Many people looking for a good work-life balance choose this city for its location.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Trainees are provided with Educational Development Time (EDT) during the week. This is at 2 hours fortnightly for Stage 1&2 and 4 hours per week for Stage 3. Trainees are required to discuss use of EDT with their ES and use them to develop all 7 areas of GPC areas required in the Anaesthesia Curriculum 2021.

Academic research is led by Professor Patrice Forget in the Academic department at Aberdeen with involvement from other colleagues who have a research interest. Aberdeen has a very active research portfolio which can be accessed via the Aberdeen Anaesthesia Research Network. The department regularly publishes work in major national and international journals. There are further opportunities to engage with research through the R&D department of NHS Grampian, NHS Highland and the Aberdeen University. The Academic Centre at the Raigmore Hospital also offers opportunities to develop this area of interest.

An active QI group leads several QI projects in both these hospitals. Trainees are encouraged to take part in QI activities both for improving patient care and for meeting curricular requirements.

There are opportunities to engage with clinical governance and management groups in both these hospitals. Senior trainees have representation on some of these committees.

Both Aberdeen and Raigmore Hospital have excellent link with the Aberdeen University. Trainees are encouraged to be involved with teaching, participate in OSCE exams and to support the medical school in other ways.


Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Aberdeen

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Joy Miller
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Anaesthetists (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Kathleen Forsyth
Address: NHS Education,2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow G3 8BW
Tel: 01412231415
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Anoop Kumar
Address: Department of Anaesthetics Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Aberdeen AB25 2ZN tel: 01224 553144
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