Patient Information

Anaesthetists are highly specialised doctors who:

  • look after the patient’s total well-being before, during and after surgery.

  • are experts in anaesthesia, care of sick patients in Intensive Care, resuscitation and treatment of pain.
can manage patients with different medical conditions (eg diabetes) during and after many different surgical procedures.
  • give anaesthesia for all surgical procedures, in patients of all ages and in any state of health.

We provide General & Regional Anaesthesia cover for all types of surgery at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton Nuffield Hospital and other affiliated hospitals. Our priorities are:

    • Your health and safety before, during and after your surgery

    • Ensuring you are fully informed about your options for anaesthesia
 by advising you about any associated risks


Critical Care

Our critical care consultant team are based at Musgrove Park Hospital and work together in a practice to ensure patients receive the best available critical care in our specialist unit

Pain Management

We provide a range of services to help in the management of acute pain conditions.

You will always meet your anaesthetist, on the ward, on the day of (or occasionally the night before) your operation. The anaesthetist will:

    • review your medical history, records and test results – all for your safety;
    • plan your ‘anaesthetic’ and ‘pain relief’options based upon your medical history and operation
    • identify any potential risks relevant to you personally and discuss these with you
    • answer any questions or concerns you may have
    • ask you for your verbal consent that you agree to proceed with the proposed plan.

General Anaesthetic (GA), which renders the patient unconscious (= GA). Anaesthetists use a mixture of many different drugs, to keep the patient unconsciousness during surgery, but awake and pain free soon after. You will not be awake or aware at any time during your operation. At all times, during this process you are closely monitored.

Local Anaesthetic (LA) includes Regional Anaesthesia, which renders part of the body temporarily ‘numb’, comfortable and pain free. As part of what we offer, there are many different options and these will be discussed with you by your anaesthetist. It is likely that the available options will vary from ‘individual to individual’ and ‘operation to operation’. Please note  not all operations are suitable to be completed under Local Anaesthesia. Examples include:

  • Local anaesthetic is injected to make a part of the body numb eg a patch of skin, a finger/toe, hand/foot, even an arm or leg.
  • Regional anaesthetics, which include spinals are increasingly common and are popular with patients. A spinal  requires a single injection between the bones of the back to ‘numb’ the nerves that supply large regions of the body eg from the ‘chest’ down. This is a safe ways to provide anaesthesia for major operations on the hip, knee, prostate and other operations below the ‘chest’. – Anaesthetists can then also control how sedated (awake, drowsy or ‘asleep’) patients are during their surgery.