The anaesthetics service is led by doctors who are specially trained in anaesthetics and the treatment of pain. They provide pain relief before, during and after surgical procedures and are closely involved in all aspects of resuscitation of very ill and severely injured patients.
Anaesthesia means "loss of sensation". Anaesthetics are drugs used during tests and surgical operations to numb sensation in certain areas of the body or induce sleep. This prevents pain and discomfort, and enables a wide range of medical procedures to be carried out.
Local anaesthetics and general anaesthetics are two commonly used types of anaesthetics. A local anaesthetic is often used during procedures where a small area of the body is numbed and you remain fully conscious. A general anaesthetic is often used for more serious operations where you are unconscious and unaware of the procedure.

Pain medicine

There are two main types of pain; acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term). Different methods are used to treat each type.

The acute pain service comprises a team of a consultant anaesthetist and two acute pain nurses. They treat pain after procedures, operations or trauma, e.g. cuts, broken bones, medical procedures and short-term back problems.
The service aims to provide excellent and evidence based pain relief such as patient controlled analgesia, epidural and regional analgesia for patients after major surgery. In addition, the acute pain service is available to hospital specialities for advice or referral in order to optimise pain relief.
Our team undertakes daily ward rounds to review patients and analgesic regimes - this also provides education and training for all health care practitioners. The acute pain service works in close collaboration with other services in the hospital such as the chronic pain team and the hospital palliative care team.

Chronic pain outpatient clinic

Chronic pain is a significant cause of suffering in the UK. Pain becomes chronic when it has lasted more than six months and when it significantly affects your home or work life.
Patients with chronic pain conditions can be referred to the chronic pain clinic. Referrals have to be made by the patient’s GP or one of the hospital consultants.
The chronic pain clinic is a busy service involving three consultants. Treatments offered include education, advice, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), medication, acupuncture, nerve blocks and external neuromodulation.