Working in anaesthesia

Supporting anaesthetists throughout their career

Anaesthetists and the specialty of anaesthesia and perioperative medicine have a central role in the future of healthcare. Our work is focused on delivering that vision in the UK and overseas.

The workforce

The anaesthesia workforce consists of different grade professionals, consultants and anaesthetists in training on long term and short term contracts.  Staff Associate Specialists (SAS) doctors are non- consultants and are extremely competent, often coming to the UK with a wealth of experience.

Anaesthesia Associates (AAs) are non- medically qualified staff and the RCoA believes that they make a valuable contribution towards a sustainable workforce. Recently the role of the AA has been agreed to be regulated by the GMC, which will help advance their role in the workplace.

In recent years, the workforce has been overstretched across the NHS and the college supports different ways of working, retention and more staffing to help improve the care we deliver to patients during these challenging times.   Both SAS doctors and AAs make a valuable contribution to the anaesthetic workforce, along with other health professionals. The college not only wants to deliver the best healthcare but also look at how we can make the NHS a better place to work.  

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