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.


Subject to satisfactory training progress and assessment over a 7 year programme, doctors in training 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/Stage 1 training: Dr Mike Clarke

Training Programme Director ST4-7: Dr Zoe Huish

Trainee representative: Contact via BSA website


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 stage 1-3 training milestones 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 placements. Typically, at least two years will be spent at the Queen Elizabeth hospital concentrating on subspeciality training (neurosurgery, cardiac, obstetrics, ICM), 3 months at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the rest of time spent in a mixture of DGHs. Once stage 2 training is complete, there is opportunity to pursue special interest training areas 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 (LLP), logbook of cases, supervised learning events, 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 many 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.
  • A plethora of research and teaching opportunities, usually working with the University of Birmingham

The School benefits from its hospitals being geographically close, with only Hereford being more distant. Doctors in training commuting times are therefore reasonable and it is possible to live in several areas and be able to drive to the hospitals. There is a good local motorway network. Many doctors in training 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.

Birmingham Women's Hospital


Birmingham Women’s Hospital (BWH) merged with Birmingham Children’s Hospital in February 2017 and the organisation is now known as Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Trust.  Birmingham Women’s Hospital hosts obstetric, gynaecology (including fertility), clinical genetics and neonatal services.

Anaesthetic services are contracted from University Hospitals Birmingham via a service level agreement (SLA) and therefore all anaesthetists at BWH are employed by UHB.  Anaesthetic services cover delivery suite (labour ward and elective and emergency theatres), antenatal clinic, gynaecology theatres, the assisted conception unit (ACU), and the pre-assessment clinic.

The obstetric unit is one of the largest in the country, with over 8200 deliveries.  There is a midwifery-led unit adjacent to but separate from the main delivery suite.  The caesarean section rate is just below 30% and the epidural rate for labour analgesia is around 23%.  The unit is covered by 14 consultant anaesthetists, many of whom also work in the other areas of the hospital.  Trainee anaesthetists of all grades are welcomed and can complete all stages of obstetric anaesthesia training.  Working in the obstetric unit is busy but interesting and varied. There is ample opportunity to gain experience in management of complications of pregnancy and complex obstetric-medical cases.  The majority of these are managed by joint obstetric and physician antenatal clinics and doctors in training are encouraged to attend these and all of the other obstetric activities on delivery suite.

Whilst at UHB or BWH, doctors in training may spend time in gynaecology theatres.  There are two theatres running daily elective lists and there is opportunity to learn about all gynaecologist subspecialties including fertility, uro-gynaecology, cancer surgery and laparoscopic surgery. There is a recently established consultant-led pre-assessment service that trainees are welcome to attend as part of a pre-assessment or peri-operative medicine module.

Contact Details

Birmingham Women's Hospital
Mindelsohn Way
B15 2TG


Telephone (Main): 0121 472 1377

Hospital Website:

Birmingham Children’s Hospital

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.

The department of Anaesthesia has 32 Consultant Anaesthetists and a 4 paediatric anaesthesia fellows. There are trainee anaesthetists attached to the department from the Birmingham, Warwickshire and Stoke Schools of anaesthesia.

The department has a high workload of anaesthetics 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, 22 bedded Intensive Care Unit admitting some 1200 patients per year.


Contact Details

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Steelhouse Lane


B4 6NH

Telephone (Main): 0121 333 9999

Telephone (Dept): 0121 333 9623

City & Sandwell Hospitals


City Hospital is located two miles west of Birmingham City Centre and is part of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust. Sandwell hospital receives trainees from the Stoke school of Anaesthesia, and trainees can go to both sites depending on the modules required.

The Trust has 24 theatres, including a dedicated short stay unit in the Birmingham Treatment Centre and tertiary ophthalmology in the Birmingham and Midlands Eye Centre. Other specialties include Gynae-oncology, general, colorectal, trauma, orthopaedics, regional anaesthesia, ENT, breast, plastics, dental, and urology.

The obstetric unit has over 6000 deliveries per year, with a high risk population, and is recognised for stage 3 special interest training. There is also a peri-operative anaesthetic service looking after high risk patients before and after surgery. The Pain management department encompasses an acute pain service, as well as outpatient multi-disciplinary clinics, a pain management programme, and procedure lists. There are two 16 bedded critical care units, one on either site which are recognised for training and support the medical and surgical services.

The anaesthetic department is actively involved in teaching and training and there are a network of educational supervisors to support this. There is regular teaching for many stages of training, as well as intensive FRCA exam preparation support, multidisciplinary simulation sessions within our clinical teaching unit, and regular departmental meetings for audit/quality improvement activities. Research and audit activities are encouraged, and there are purpose built postgraduate/education facilities on both sites to support this.


Contact Details

City Hospital

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Dudley Road


B18 7QH

Telephone (Main): 0121 5543801

Telephone (Dept): 0121 5074343


Sandwell Hospital

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust


West Bromwich

B71 4HJ

Telephone (Main): 0121 553 1831


Hospital Website:

Hereford County Hospital

Hereford is a cathedral city around 50 miles south west of Birmingham with a District General Hospital providing services for a widespread rural community.

Anaesthetic services are provided for pre-operative assessment, general surgery, urology, oral surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, ophthalmology, obstetrics, gynaecology, orthopaedics, trauma and intensive care.

The relatively small size of the anaesthetic department engenders a familiarity and a sense of inclusion within a friendly team.  There are active teaching programmes for FRCA and simulation training, which receive good feedback.  Opportunities for post-fellowship trainee dedicated professional development sessions are available.
An active Postgraduate Medical Centre is located at the County Hospital with a well stocked library.  Departmental facilities include a dedicated trainee room with IT access and exam texts, on call rooms and a seminar room used for regular departmental quality improvement meetings.


Contact Details

Hereford County Hospital

Stonebow Road




Telephone (Main): 01432 355 444

Telephone (Dept): 01432 364 080


Admin contact:


Hospital Website:

University Hospital Birmingham Trust- Queen Elizabeth Hospital


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the main teaching hospital for the Birmingham Medical School and is located close to the University Campus and benefits from the extensive facilities of the Barnes Medical Library.

The Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care is staffed by around 100 Consultants and around 60 trainees. The department provides anaesthesia support to 27 main operating theatres and 11 day case theatres. The department also provides anaesthetic cover for the Birmingham Women’s Hospital for tertiary Obstetric services and 2 Gynaecology theatres In addition, an acute and chronic pain service operates and there are extensive critical care facilities.

Surgical specialties include many tertiary referral services (except elective Orthopaedics), e.g. cardiac surgery (including major vascular and transplant), thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, liver transplant surgery, renal transplant surgery, major head and neck reconstructive surgery and oesophageal and abdominal surgery. The critical care unit operates with approximately 80 beds supporting cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, liver transplantation and general medical and surgical workload.

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 examinations. Research is active in the fields of physiological monitoring, care of the critically ill, obstetric anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology and day case anaesthesia.


Contact Details

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Mindelsohn Way



B15 2WB

Telephone (Main): 0121 371 2000

Telephone (Dept): 0121 371 2777

Hospital Website:

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest specialist orthopaedic units in Europe. It provides elective orthopaedic surgery for the West Midlands and is a national and international referral centre for orthopaedic oncology.

There are 24 consultants and 5 Trust Grade Doctors. There are additionally 3 pain consultants.  The workload is relatively low with no ED to support. We try to minimise the amount of time spent covering HDU and maximise theatre training opportunities.

We have 10 theatres with a 14-bay recovery area. Attached to theatres is a 21-bed day-case unit and a High Dependency Unit with 8 adult beds. Trainees are largely supernumerary in what is overwhelmingly a consultant-delivered service allowing trainees considerably more flexibility than they might have elsewhere.

Currently we provide anaesthetic services for:


  • Spinal Deformity (scoliosis): Adult
  • Non-deformity spinal surgery (adults);
  • Orthopaedic Oncology: Adult
  • Paediatric Spasticity;
  • Young Adult Hip Surgery;
  • Primary and Revision arthroplasty;
  • Arthroscopy (soft tissue) Adults and adolescents;
  • Paediatric Orthopaedics/Limb deformity
  • Hand surgery;
  • Foot & Ankle;


There is a strong interest in regional anaesthesia within the department and the consultant-heavy service allows trainees to move around the theatre suite performing blocks. With a bit of effort it should be possible to perform 100+ blocks during a 3-month attachment; some trainees have managed many more.

Trainees are also welcome to join lists for major orthopaedic oncology and spinal lists. Those trainee anaesthetists with an interest in Spinal/Neuroanaesthesia are welcome to join spinal lists, some of which include one-lung anaesthesia.

The department runs the Pre-Op Assessment Clinic and trainees are welcome to join the POAC service to gain experience towards  Perioperative Medicine. The Pain Service can also accommodate trainees and there is a Local Pain Medicine ES supporting pain training.

We can support training towards completion of Orthopaedic, Regional, Day Case, POM and Pain learning outcomes. Trainees will automatically be released from clinical duties to attend Deanery Teaching, both for Final FRCA and post-fellowship.

Having relatively few trainees also provides good opportunities for completion of quality improvement projects; several of our trainees have presented posters at anaesthetic meetings.


Contact Details

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Bristol Road South
B31 2AP

Telephone (Main): 0121 685 4000

Hospital Website:

Russells Hall Hospital


Russells Hall Hospital is a large District General Hospital located in Dudley, in the heart of the Black Country. The Anaesthetic Department and Critical Care Unit is staffed by 40 +consultants, 4 specialty doctors, 20 deanery trainees, and up to 5 clinical fellows. We are supported by five PA(A)s and two part-time anaesthetic secretaries.

Surgical specialties at Russells Hall include general, vascular (we are the Black Country vascular hub), ENT, maxillofacial, ophthalmology, gynaecology, obstetrics, urology, orthopaedics , robotic and plastic surgery.

We have 10 main theatres, five day case theatres, an interventional vascular theatre and two obstetric theatres. The Critical Care Unit has 20 beds. The Critical Care Department has approval for advanced ICM Training. The department also includes an acute and chronic pain service, a comprehensive pre-op assessment service, and a cardiopulmonary exercise testing service.

Facilities in the Department include a trainees’ room with computers and internet access, a seminar room, and on-call rooms for all anaesthetists doing resident on-call.

There is a purpose-built Postgraduate Education Centre with excellent library facilities, a lecture theatre, seminar rooms and a clinical skills laboratory. In addition, we have a £500,000 state of the art simulation centre, which hosts a range of simulation sessions, including the internationally recognised MEPA paediatric anaesthesia course. Anaesthetic trainees at Russells Hall can participate both as candidates and faculty at this, and a range of other simulation training days.

We are extremely enthusiastic teachers and provide regular tutorials and exam preparation sessions. Trainees are supported to attend the teaching appropriate for their level of training, which includes regional teaching for more experienced doctors. Post FRCA trainees have the opportunity to book trainee SPA time, so that they have time to undertake quality improvement projects and develop their practice according to their individual anaesthetic interests.

We are a friendly and welcoming department and receive consistently good feedback from trainees.


Contact Details

Russells Hall Hospital

Dudley Group Hospitals NHS Trust


West Midlands


Telephone (Main): 01384 456 111

Telephone (Dept): 01384 244 076

Hospital Website:

Worcester Royal Hospital

Worcester is a cathedral city 20 miles south of Birmingham. Worcestershire Royal Hospital is a PFI building opened in 2002. There are 40+ consultants in the department. It provides experience of all specialties except for cardiac and neuro anaesthesia.  The colorectal unit is the 4th busiest in the country with patients undergoing complex laparoscopic operations not seen in other hospitals such as TATMEs and ELAPS. Trainees can also see major urological cases at the Alexandra Hospital.

There is a high degree of trainee supervision and comprehensive exam-orientated teaching. There are opportunities to do paediatric and adult daycase at purpose-built Treatment Centre in Kidderminster. The department has good computer access and IT support. We are EWTD-compliant with a 3-4 tier rota with supportive consultant cover out of hours.


Contact Details

Worcestershire Royal Hospital

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Charles Hastings Way



Telephone (Main): 01905 763 333

Telephone (Dept) :01905 760 637

Hospital Website:




Page Last Updated 22nd April 2024