The Anaesthetic service is responsible for anaesthesia in operating theatres, the management of pain relief and the general care of patients before, during and after operations.
- Acute Pain Service: Patients may experience acute pain after they have had an operation. Anaesthetists, assisted by specialist pain nurses, will manage a patient’s acute pain.
- Chronic Pain Service: Patients with chronic pain, such as back pain or musculoskeletal disorders, may be referred to a pain clinic which offers a number of treatments to assist with controlling pain.
Operating theatres provide elective services and 24 hour emergency services to all specialties. Patients may be admitted to hospital for planned surgery as an inpatient, either the day before surgery or the day of surgery. Patients may also have their surgery undertaken as a day case.
The Sterile Services departments support the operating theatres by processing surgical instrumentation.
Pre-Operative assessment aims to assess each patient’s fitness for surgery and general anaesthetic. This service is mostly delivered by nurses, however Consultant Anaesthetists may also provide expert advice.
Intensive Care Services
Intensive Care Services includes Intensive Care and High Dependency The service provides intensive care to patients with life threatening illness, following major, complex surgery and following serious accidents. The majority of critical care patients require help with their breathing. This is provided by a ventilator, more commonly known as a life support machine. Patients in high dependency care are generally less ill than those in critical care but still require organ support, e.g. to help maintain blood pressure, which cannot be provided in an ordinary ward.