NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Anaesthetics

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/378

The South East of Scotland School of Anaesthesia has a long and continuing history of delivering excellence in clinical training within Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.

The training programme in Anaesthesia has been adapted to reflect the structure of the 2021 curriculum. Stage 1 (including ACCS Anaesthetics) training and Stage2-3 training are overseen by their own Training Programme Director.

In Stage 1 training (CT1-3), doctors- in-training (DiT) can expect to spend roughly half their time in hospitals that are part of NHS Lothian and half their time in affiliated hospitals in nearby regions. In addition to navigating the core skills of anaesthesia encompassed by the Initial Assessment of Anaesthetic Competence (IAC) within  first six months of practice, the programme will also support attainment of the Initial Assessment of Obstetric Competence (IAOC) within the first two years by way of a dedicated block of Obstetric Anaesthesia training in the region’s tertiary Obstetric unit. Additionally, in the first three years, two separate three month blocks of ICM training in two different Faculty of Intensive Care (FICM) accredited Intensive Care Units will be scheduled. Finally,  a one month  block of training in CT3 situated in the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh is included to support attainment of the key capabilities of Stage 1 Paediatric Anaesthesia..

Stage 2 training (ST4-5) encompasses training in the subspecialty blocks of Cardiac Anaesthesia Neuroanesthesia and Paediatric Anaesthesia, a block of training in Pain Medicine, additional dedicated experience in Obstetric Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine and a further opportunity to develop greater independence in the practice of a broad range of general and regional anaesthesia skills. Subspecialty blocks will be distributed across these two training years.

Stage 3 training (ST6-7) marks the final two years of anaesthetic training with the focus being on preparing for Consultant practice. In ST6, the majority of time is spent within hospitals situated within NHS Lothian gaining experience in the management of elective and emergency patients presenting for complex major surgery but also includes a further short block of training in Paediatric Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine. One year of Stage 3 training, usually but not exclusively in ST7, is nominated to be spent in a Special Interest Area (SIA). SIAs are offered across the clinical domains described by the anaesthetic curriculum and are chosen by DiT to usually reflect both their clinical interests and career ambitions. Whilst allocation to popular SIAs can be subject to a competitive selection process, there is an ambition to offer such opportunities to as wide a selection of individuals as possible through advanced rota planning.

The training programme is supported by an enthusiastic and highly skilled team of clinical trainers and there are ample local and regional opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours encapsulated by the seven general professional domains whilst making progress addressing the key capabilities described in the seven clinical domains

The option to dual train in Intensive Care Medicine is open to all and determined by national recruitment process managed by the FICM.  Just over a fifth of current SESSA DiT are dual training in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine.


Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Edinburgh holds a pre-eminent position within the UK as a place to train and work as an academic clinician. The Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track (ECAT) is a flagship Wellcome PhD programme for DiT wishing to pursue such a career pathway and under the leadership of a group of highly respected academic clinicians, including Tim Walsh, Professor of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and lead for the Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group and Kenneth Baillie, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Anaesthesia and Critical Care.

A funded Data Science Fellowship in Anaesthesia, Critical care and Pain Medicine provided by the University of Edinburgh and overseen by Dr Naz Lone, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Critical Care and Honorary Consultant in Critical Care is open to local DiT and subject to a competitive selection process.

An enthusiastic and active group of local QI leads supervise and support engagement in quality improvement and audit workstreams with the aim of engendering a DiT workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills to use QI methodology to positively impact the safety and quality of the healthcare they provide to their patients. These processes are further supported by SquaresNet, a regional QI, Audit and Research network run for DiT by DiT.

There are a multitude of opportunities to be involved in undergraduate and postgraduate clinical education and training in our region. The Clinical Educator Programme offered by the University of Edinburgh provides a choice of immersion from an entry level to level 3, which is mapped to the GMC requirements of an Educational Supervisor. For those wishing to make clinical education a key feature of their future career, an MSc, PGDip or PGCert programme in Clinical Education is supported by the University of Edinburgh.

SESSA has amongst its ranks a number of expert and nationally-recognised leaders in the field of simulation-based education. Consequently, our region has been well placed to adapt to the increasing use of simulation to support clinical training and opportunities for DiT to participate as faculty or become a future leaders in simulation-based clinical education are available.

Similar to clinical education, management training opportunities are abound and range from the local and introductory to the national and fully immersive. SESSA DiT can apply to the NHS Lothian Chief Registrar programme in which senior DiT represent their colleagues-in-training at the interface between Consultants, managers and the wider workforce. Additionally, SESSA DiT can apply to the Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellowship scheme and future applications to this scheme for those in Stage 2-3 training would be supported.


Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Forth Valley Royal Hospital - FVRH, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 50 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SF, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Borders General Hospital, Melrose

South East of Scotland – placements in Edinburgh hospitals, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Livingston, Melrose and Stirling:
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline
St John’s Hospital, Livingston
Borders General Hospital, Melrose
Stirling Royal Infirmary, Stirling

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office South-East of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Mr Alastair Murray
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval April 2023
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: 0141 2231415
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Jeremy Morton
Address: Dept of Anaesthetics, Critical Care and Pain Medicine Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh 51 Little France Crescent Old Dalkeith Road Edinburgh EH16 4SA
Quality of Training Quality Management

How to Apply

Search Specialty
Training Opportunities