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Department of Anaesthesia - General Information

Also in Department of Anaesthesia:


The Department of Anaesthesia, ITU & Hyperbaric Medicine in Aberdeen is one of the largest single departments in the UK. There are around 60 Consultants, 3 Honorary Consultants, 2 Associate Specialist doctors and 40 trainees working at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Woodend Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital.

The Anaesthetic Department provides anaesthetic services to the hospitals in and around Aberdeen including general, maternity, paediatric and psychiatric units. All major specialties are covered including cardiac and thoracic surgery, major vascular surgery, trauma, head and neck surgery, plastic surgery, neuro-surgery and paediatric surgery. Three consultants provide a service for Chronic Pain, and the consultant-led Acute Pain Team is available during weekdays.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (around 800 beds) is the major acute hospital for the North East of Scotland. It shares the Foresterhill site with the University of Aberdeen Medical School, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital (85 beds; opened 2004) and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital (100 beds). Dr Gray's Hospital is a District General Hospital in Elgin (65 miles NW of Aberdeen). Together they make up the acute sector of NHS Grampian.

As all individual members of the department have most or all of their commitments at one site, the organisation of departmental meetings and teaching is facilitated. There are a variety of meetings each week particularly during the academic term. Speakers from within the department, from other departments in the hospital as well as from elsewhere in the country cover a spectrum of topics. Tutorials are run for those preparing for examinations and mock vivas are organised on an individual basis.

The main offices of the Department of Anaesthesia are adjacent to the main operating theatre suite (15 theatres) and ITU. The administrative offices, tutorial room, library, computer room, coffee room, as well as consultant and trainee accommodation are located there.


The department staff provides more than 35,000 general anaesthetics per annum plus 24 hour on call emergency cover at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.

Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin provides consultant anaesthetic services to the population of Moray.

Intensive Therapy Unit

The General Intensive Care Unit has 14 beds with 2 HDU beds. The unit treats over 600 patients in per annum. An adjoining 6-bedded Cardiac Intensive Care Unit treats 600 cardiac patients per annum.

Hyperbaric Medicine

The Scottish Diving Medicine Service provides emergency support and treatment of decompression illness throughout Scotland. Elective hyperbaric treatments and treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning are also provided. The Unit operates a National Registration Service for Hyperbaric Medicine giving support and education to participating Scottish chambers. More information is available from the Scottish Diving Medicine and Hyperchamber websites

Chronic Pain

Provides patient management and treatment to those suffering from chronic pain. Services available from ARI, Woolmanhill Hospital, Woodend Hospital, Roxburghe House and Dr Gray's Hospital.

Acute Pain

Provides service to patients in the medical and surgical wards offering pain relief from acute pain. Training of ward staff in these specific skills and knowledge. This is currently only available in ARI.

Resuscitation Training

Dedicated training staff carry out training for appropriate NHS Grampian staff in the various resuscitation training facilities found across Grampian and in the Clinical Skills Centre at Foresterhill.

Academic Anaesthesia

The Academic Department is headed by Professor Nigel R Webster. Further information is available on the University of Aberdeen website.

School of Anaesthesia

Regional Educational Advisors in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and in Acute Pain Management together with college tutors provide support and guidance to staff in training.