General Information


The Birmingham School of Anaesthesia is one of the three schools of anaesthesia in the West Midlands Deanery. It is recognised by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Dean of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education in the West Midlands. The Specialist Training Programme offers a schedule which meets the standards and experience required by the PMETB.

Subject to satisfactory training progress and assessment over a 7 year programme, trainees will be eligible for the award of CCT/CESR. Entry into the programme is subject to candidates meeting the minimal entry requirements as defined by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. For further information about the school, please visit Birmingham School of Anaesthesia


Training Programme Director Core training: Dr Yasmin Poonawala

Training Programme Director ST3-7: Dr Carl Stevenson

Trainee representative: Contact via website webmaster

What Birmingham Offers

The Birmingham School includes an excellent mix of training opportunities including one of the UKs largest hospitals, specialist hospitals and several district general hospitals. Many of these are based in Birmingham with the DGHs principally west or southwest of Birmingham. Training follows the Royal College of Anaesthetists curriculum with basic (for core trainees), intermediate and higher competencies (for specialty trainees) to be attained. The Programme Director works to ensure that everyone rotates through the necessary hospitals to fulfil their training requirements. Trainees have opportunity to express preferences in terms of where they train and the order of their modules. Typically, at least two years will be spent at the Queen Elizabeth hospital concentrating on subspeciality training (neurosurgery, cardiac, obstetrics, ICM), 3-6 months at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the rest of time spent in a mixture of DGHs. Once higher training is complete, there is opportunity to pursue advanced training modules in chosen subspecialties. All subspecialties exist within the school including liver transplantation. Assessment is performed using a number of modalities including a personalised trainee eportfolio, case logbook, workplace based assessments, regular appraisal and an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

Unique features of the BSA include

·         Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEHB) which has the largest single critical care unit in Europe, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine where the majority of injured UK forces are treated and is the major trauma centre for Birmingham. It is also a major transplant centre.

·         Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital are internationally renowned specialist centres.

·         Secondment to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital can be arranged for thoracic anaesthesia.

·         Trainee Service Lead management role available at QEHB

·         A plethora of research and teaching opportunities, usually working with the University of Birmingham

BSA Lifestyle

The School benefits from its hospitals being geographically close, with only Hereford being more distant. Trainee commuting times are therefore reasonable and it is possible to live in a number of areas and be able to drive to the hospitals. There is a good local motorway network. Many trainees choose to live close to the central Birmingham hospitals in areas such as Harborne, with others choosing to live in rural locations or in other cities such as Worcester.

All amenities and interests are well catered for in the locality. Birmingham boasts excellent shopping, entertainment, transport links and is culturally diverse. Similarly Hereford and Worcester are picturesque counties with a rural feel.


Hospital & Contact Details


To view both the hospital and contact details, please expand the relevant hospital tab below

Birmingham Children's Hospital


The Hospital

Birmingham Children's Hospital
Steelhouse Lane
B4 6NH

Telephone (Main) 0121 3339999
Telephone (Dept) 0121 3339623

A dedicated 300 bedded children's hospital situated in the city centre at the site of the old General Hospital, which has undergone major refurbishments to provide a modern facility for many paediatric specialities. The hospital provides a comprehensive service for the children of Birmingham and is the main referral centre for the West Midlands. It is a recognised supra/regional centre for all paediatric specialities. The hospital provides undergraduate teaching facilities and has an active Postgraduate Education Centre with a large library. The department of Anaesthesia has 20 full time and 2 part time Consultant Anaesthetists and a research fellow. There are 13 trainee anaesthetists attached to the department from the Birmingham, Coventry and Stoke schools of anaesthesia. Birmingham School trainees are attached to BCH for two months as an ST 3/4 and for 3 months as an ST 5/6/7 if undergoing a general training. ST 5/6/7s can also elect to be attached to BCH for 6 months of which 2 months are spent on the PICU. The department has a workload of some 14,000 anaesthetics per annum for all types of surgery, including neonatal, cardiothoracic, neuro and craniofacial surgery, hepatobiliary surgery (including liver transplantation), orthopaedics, trauma, plastics, urology, dental ophthalmic and ENT surgery. There is a state of the art, 20 bedded Intensive Care Unit admitting some 1200 patients per year.



College Tutor: Dr Janet Stansfield
Anaesthetic Admin Manager: Sue Sprago

City Hospital


The Hospital

City Hospital
Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
Dudley Road
B18 7QH

Telephone (Main) 0121 5543801
Telephone (Dept) 0121 5074343

Formerly Dudley Road Hospital, located 2 miles west of the city centre. It is a large District General Hospital and caters for a wide variety of surgical and medical specialities including vascular and general surgery, ENT, obstetrics, gynaecology, urology and orthopaedics. The Birmingham Treatment Centre opened in 2005 and has 6 theatres for short stay surgery covering all specialties. The Midlands Eye Hospital and the Regional Toxicology Centre are located on site. Anaesthetic services include a Pain Management Department encompassing an in-patient, acute pain service and a multi-disciplinary Chronic Pain Management Team. A 16 bedded Critical Care Department support the medical and surgical services, which has training approval for Critical Care. The anaesthetics department is actively involved in teaching and training within a friendly and supportive environment. Pre-Fellowship and Primary teaching programmes are active alongside regular departmental meetings. Anaesthetic Audit and research activities are encouraged and the purpose built Postgraduate Education Centre provides excellent facilities. The department has a well established regional anaesthesia service and runs a biannual ultrasound for regional anaesthesia course.



College Tutor: Dr Alison Brake

Anaesthetic Secretary: Cheryl Bradley

Hereford County Hospital


The Hospital

Hereford County Hospital
Stonebow Road

Telephone (Main) 01432 355444
Telephone (Dept) 01432 364080

Hereford is a cathedral city 50 miles south west of Birmingham with a District General Hospital providing services for a wide rural community. Anaesthetic services cover general surgery, urology, oral surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, ophthalmology obstetrics, gynaecology, orthopaedics, trauma, intensive care, coronary care and day case units. An active Postgraduate Medical Centre is located at the County Hospital with a well stocked library. There is a wide range of Postgraduate educational activities across all medical and surgical specialities and it is hoped to expand simulation based training in all disciplines.



College Tutor: Dr Tim Day-Thompson
Anaesthetic Secretary: Vanessa Hick

Queen Elizabeth Hospital


The Hospital

New Queen Elizabeth Hospital
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust
Metchley Park Road
B15 2TH

Telephone (Main) 0121 371 2000
Telephone (Dept) 0121 371 2777

The New Queen Elizabeth Hospital is the main teaching hospital for the Birmingham Medical School located close to the University Campus and benefits from the extensive facilities of the Barnes Medical Library. The Featherstone Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care is staffed by 84 Consultants, 34 trainees, 1 full time NHS secretary, 1 full time and 1 part time University secretaries. Facilities within the department include a trainee’s workroom well stocked with computers, a small departmental library, shared Consultant accommodation and seminar rooms based around the theatre complex. The department provides anaesthesia support to 30 + operating theatres daily, as well as the acute pain service and the largest critical care facility in Europe. Surgical specialities include many tertiary referral services, e.g. cardiac surgery (including major vascular and transplantation), neurosurgery, liver transplant surgery, renal transplant surgery, major head and neck reconstructive surgery and oesophageal and abdominal surgery. There are 4 critical care units with approximately 80 beds supporting cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, liver transplantation and general medical and surgical workload. The hospital is a major trauma centre and we also support the work of the Centre for Defence Medicine for the UK. An active postgraduate training programme with regular weekly meetings on current and topical subjects, morbidity and mortality and various other lectures are held. In addition regular teaching and coaching is provided towards the FRCA examination. The University Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care has its main accommodation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and laboratory facilities in the adjoining Clinical Research Block. The Department consists of 2 Professors, 1 Senior Lecturer, senior STs on modular placements, with 1 Senior Lecturer and 1 Lecturer based at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. All academic staff have honorary NHS appointments with a wide range of commitments including paediatric anaesthesia, intensive care and neurosurgical anaesthesia. Research is active in the fields of physiological monitoring, care of the critical ill, obstetric anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology, day case anaesthesia and paediatric anaesthesia and intensive care.



College Tutors: Dr Yasmin Poonawala & Dr Laura Tasker and Dr Deborah Turfrey

Department Manager: Jackie Bladon

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


The Hospital

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
The Woodlands
Bristol Road South
B31 2AP

Telephone (Main) 0121 6854000
Telephone (Dept) 0121 6854232

A 160 bedded specialist Orthopaedic Hospital which has undergone significant development in recent years. There are 8 operating theatres with a 9th theatre opening in 2004. There is a new 13 bedded HDU admitting approximately 4000 patients per year following major surgery. There is a new Diagnostic and Treatment Centre under construction. The hospital provides a wide range of adult and paediatric orthopaedic surgery. There is a regional Spinal Unit and the hospital has a Supra Regional Orthopaedic Oncology Unit. The department of anaesthesia has 8 full time Consultant Anaesthetists 2 part time Consultant Anaesthetists, 1 Associate Specialist, 5 Trust Grade Anaesthetists and 4 Staff Grade Anaesthetists. The department is able to provide training for all aspects of Orthopaedic Anaesthesia. The large majority of patients have some form of regional anaesthesia and many trainees have used their time at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to gain experience in theses techniques. The hospital has educational approval for 2 SpRs which enable a programme to be developed to suit the individual requirements of each trainee.



College Tutor: Dr K Balachander
Anaesthetic Secretary: Lin Panton

Russell’s Hall Hospital


The Hospital

Russell’s Hall Hospital
Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust
West Midlands

Telephone (Main) 01384 456111
Telephone (Dept) 01384 244076

Russells Hall Hospital is a large District General Foundation Trust Hospital in the middle of the Black country, which is a new PFI building. The Anaesthetic Department and Critical Care Unit is staffed by 24 consultants, 6 Middle grade and 16 trainees, with 1 full-time co-ordinator and 1 part-time secretary. Anaesthetic sessions include support to a wide variety of surgical specialties including general, vascular, upper GI surgery, ENT, Max fax, ophthalmology, gynaecology and obstetrics, urology, orthopaedic and plastic surgery.. It supports 11 theatres and 5 Day Case theatres, a 9 bedded Critical Care Unit, 8 bedded HDU and a Critical Care Outreach service as well an an Acute Pain Service. The Critical Care Department has approval for Higher Specialist Training. The Department also supports the multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Service, which is a tertiary referral centre for invasive pain procedures. Facilities in the Department include a trainee’s room with computer/internet access and shared consultant accommodation/seminar room. There is a purpose built Postgraduate Education Centre on site with excellent library facilities, a lecture theatre, seminar rooms and a skill laboratory. The Anaesthetic Department is an enthusiastic teaching department, providing regular tutorials and educational meetings, exam preparation and simulator sessions as well as audit and morbidity and mortality meetings. There is also a well established medical student and FY1/FY2 teaching programme. We also support ALS, ALERT, Airway, Vascular Access and Ultrasound courses.



Programme Director ST1/ST2: Dr Helga Funkel

College Tutor: Dr Wilson Thomas

Anaesthetic Secretary: Vikki Morgan

Worcestershire Royal Hospital


The Hospital

Worcestershire Royal Hospital
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Charles Hastings Way

Telephone (Main) 01905 763333
Telephone (Dept) 01905 733048 & 01905 760635

Worcester is a cathedral city 20 miles south of Birmingham. Worcestershire Royal Hospital is a PFI building opened in 2002. All specialties with exception of Cardiac/Neuro. 40 consultants. High degree of trainee supervision and comprehensive exam-orientated teaching. Opportunity to do paediatric and adult daycase at purpose-built Treatment Centre in Kidderminster. Large department with good computer access and IT support. EWTD-compliant 3-4 tier rota with supportive consultant cover out of hours.



College Tutor: Dr. Gavin Nicol

School Adminstrator: Sharon Lake

Anaesthetic Secretary: Emma Ledwood