Welcome to the webpage of the Anaesthetics Directorate for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. 

What we do
We provide anaesthesia to allow you to undergo operations and procedures in comfort and safety. This may be a local anaesthetic where you remain awake, a local anaesthetic with sedation to make you drowsy or a full general anaesthetic where you will be asleep.

Before your operation you will pre-assessed either in a special clinic or by your anaesthetist on the day. You will be asked questions about your current and past health, medications and appropriate investigations, which may include blood tests, x-ray and a heart tracing, will be ordered. Your anaesthetist will see you before the operation to find out details about your health, test results and any concerns you may have and will work with you to plan your anaesthetic and post-operative pain relief.

After your operation you will be transferred to the Recovery Ward where a team of skilled nurses will look after you until you return to your postoperative ward.

Our aim is to provide safe, personal and effective anaesthetic care to every patient we see. Currently we have a team of 89 doctors who provide anaesthetic services to:

•           Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

•           Burnley General Teaching Hospital

In the last year we provided anaesthetic care to 40,000 patients having operations.

How to access this service

Anaesthetists are doctors who have had specialist training in anaesthesia. You will be referred to our services via the Consultant Surgeon (or other appropriate Healthcare professional) as part of your elective surgical pathway.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for:

• assessing whether you are fit enough to have the anaesthetic for your operation

• talking to you about which type of anaesthetic might be best and getting your permission (consent) for it

• giving the anaesthetic and organising pain control afterwards, and

• looking after you immediately after the operation in the recovery room or in an intensive care unit.

You may come in to contact with Anaesthetic services for the following reasons:

Pre- operative Assessment Clinic and CPET (Cardiopulmonary Exercise) Testing

It is important that your general health is as good as it can be before you have an operation. You will have a full history, examination and appropriate tests, which may include blood tests, x-ray and a heart tracing before you come in for your operation. You will be asked about any medications you are taking so it is a good idea to bring a list of what you take when, with you. You will be given instructions about what medications to take or stop.

This visit is also an opportunity for you to highlight any particular concern or worries you may have. Many clinics are run by trained nurses who will refer you on to an anaesthetist if needed. You will always be seen by an anaesthetist before your operation, most often on the day of the operation.

You may be asked to do a fitness test before you decide that you will have the operation. A fitness test gives information about how risky the operation is for you. This helps you decide whether an operation is right for you. There may be other less risky treatments that would be better for you. The test also helps your surgeon and anaesthetist decide how best to look after you during and after the operation.

The fitness test is usually done on a stationary cycle. You are asked to wear a mask so the team can measure the oxygen that you use and the carbon dioxide that you breathe out.

If you cannot turn the pedals due to problems with your legs, it may be possible to use a machine that you turn with your arms.

Having a baby - Delivery Suite

There is always an anaesthetist in the maternity unit. They provide pain relief services for women in labour which may be epidurals or patient controlled analgesia. They are there to help care for mothers who may experience health problems in labour and to provide anaesthesia for those requiring operative delivery.


What can you do to improve your fitness for Major Surgery?

We know that when you have major surgery, it puts a big strain on your body. However, there are several ways that you can improve your fitness leading up to your surgery, which will help prepare your body for your operation and its recovery



Stop Smoking – even for a short time would benefit your fitness for any surgery, help can be found via http://www.quitsquad.nhs.uk/index.php

Before and after Major Surgery

Cough and Deep Breathing - After surgery taking deep breaths and coughing helps to clear your lungs. This helps the lungs do the vital job of delivering oxygen to the tissues in your body.

Mouth Care - Good mouth healthcare reduces risk of lung complications after major surgery and improves your overall general health.

We want you to concentrate on optimal dental care leading up to your surgery by focussing on:

  • Brushing your teeth twice per day for 2 minutes. Make sure you brush the    sides of your teeth and along the gum line, especially on the inside surfaces next to your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
  • Brush the top of your tongue, as far back as you can comfortably manage.
  • Cleaning in between the teeth with either dental floss or bottle brushes.
  • Use mouthwash once a day to help control the dental plaque. Also gargle with the mouthwash, to clean the back of your tongue and mouth.
  • Consider getting a scale and polish from your dentist.

This process of good dental healthcare should continue in hospital after your surgery.


Get out of bed - Getting out of bed and mobilising early after surgery is extremely important and will help prevent numerous complications. It will help clear secretions from your lungs and reduce your risk of lung infection, improve your circulation so that you may regain your strength and improve your gut's function. However, there is often patient concern about doing harm by moving soon after surgery, and anxiety about how sore the pain from surgery will be.


Steps to getting out of bed:

  • It is safe and very important-we will reassure and support you
  • We will aim to mobilise you into your own chair at least twice per day
  • Manage your pain - Pain management is very important to us and we have a specialised pain team to help us manage your pain.

Head of Bed Elevated - It is important to keep the head of the bed elevated between 30-45 degrees. Being in an upright position after surgery will help your breathing.

More information about Anaesthesia can be found here:





Clinical Director
Dr Michael Pollard (MBChB FRCA)

Deputy Clinical Director
Dr Jess Heaps (MBChB FRCA)

Clinical Director for Intensive Care
Dr Justin Roberts (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care

General Manager
Mrs Joanne Preston


Key Contacts

Anaesthetic Consultants at ELHT
We have 55 consultants, 3 Associate Specialists, 24 trainees (varied), 11 Specialty Doctors and 2 Senior Clinical Fellows

Dr Matthew Atkinson (MBChB, FRCA, FFICM)
Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Airway Lead, College Tutor ICU

Dr Mohammed Akuji (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist interests: General, Obstetrics

Dr Kate Beresford (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interest: Obstetric, Cardioversion

Dr Richard Benson (FRCA, FFICM)-Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Advanced Critical Care Practitioner Lead, Enhanced Care Lead.

Dr Stephanie Bowler (FRCA MBChB BSc(Anatomy)
Specialist Interests: Obstetric lead,Paediatric, Simulation for Medical Education, General

Dr Karen Butler (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: College Tutor, ECT Lead, Obstetrics

Dr Tine Calow (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Robotic Urology, Orthopaedic

Dr Chandra Chandrasekaran (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Obstetrics, Trauma, Orthopaedics, ECT

Dr Sarah J Clarke (MBChB FRCA FFICM)
Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Altitude Physiology, General, Hepatobiliary, Regional Adviser ICM, Deputy Lead RA nationally

Dr Tim Clarke (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: ACSA Lead, NAP6 Lead, Hepatobiliary, Trauma, Regional Anaesthesia

Dr Sri Chukkumbotla (FRCA FFICM)
Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Trust Research Lead, Perioperative Medicine, General

Dr Ian Clegg (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Paediatric Lead, Obstetrics

Dr Stephen Costigan (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Governance lead, HPB

Dr Iain Crossingham (MRCP FFICM)
Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Respiratory Medicine

Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Emergency Anaesthesia, Clinical Lead – Deteriorating Patients, Clinical Lead – Sepsis, Quality Improvement

Dr Sylvia Dick (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: General, ECT

Dr Rodney Emmott (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Urological surgery including robot-assisted, Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Anaesthesia in the Elderly, General, ECT, ENT.
Post-Graduate Medical Education & past Royal College of Anaesthetists Examiner (national & international).

Dr David Freeman (Locum)(FRCA MBChB)
Specialist Interests: Maxillofacial Surgery, HPB, General

Dr Kerry Grady (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: General

Dr Nadeem Iqbal (MBBS FRCA MCPS)
Specialist Interests:  Obstetric, Vascular, Day Case, Gynaecology

Dr Damien Joseph (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Obstetric, General

Dr Anton Krige (MBChB DIMC FRCA FFICM) (Director R&D) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Hepatobiliary, Major Colorectal, CPET Perioperative Research, Quality Improvement

Dr Sushil Kumar (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Obstetric, Trauma, Orthopaedic

Dr Anu Kurvey (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: ENT, General
Less than Full Time Champion for Trainees

Dr Jason Lie (BSc(MedSci) MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Remi PCA Lead, Obstetric, Regional Anaesthesia, Orthopaedic, Maxillo-Facial
USSPINE Workshop organiser, NWRAG Link Consultant, Sustainability lead

Dr Helen Makin (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: General, Rota master

Dr Aji Mathew (MBBS,FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Orthopaedic, Regional Anaesthesia

Dr Peter McDermott (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: ECT, Hepatobiliary, General, Echocardiography

Dr Alistair Millar (MBChB, FRCA)
Specialist Interests: CPET, Paediatrics , Obstetrics, Perioperative Medicine

Dr Gus Nelhubel (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Trauma, Orthopaedic, Regional Anaesthesia

Dr Liam O’Neill (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Maxillo-Facial, General

Dr Danielle Ormandy (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Paediatrics

Dr Rak Patel (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: General

Dr Carole Pilkington (MBChB LLM FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: General, Organ Donation Lead

Dr Scott Price (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Pre-op Assessment, General, Breast

Dr David Rawlinson (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Audit lead, Maxillo-Facial, General

Dr Dominic Sebastian (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Divisional Governance Lead, General, Hepatobiliary

Dr Helen Simmons (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: NELA Lead, General, Urology
UCLAN School of Medicine Undergraduate Simulation Tutor

Dr Andy Shannon (MBChB FCARCSI)
Specialist Interests: Equipment Lead, Obstetric, Trauma, Regional Anaesthesia, Clinical Lead for ePR Development

Dr Rob Shawcross (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Rota master, ECT, General

Dr Ioana Simonescu (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Vascular, General

Dr Adam Slack (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Medicines Management, Transfusion lead, General, Vascular

Dr James Small (FRCA)

Dr Matt Smith (FRCA FFICM)-Intensive Care
Specialist Interest: Dialysis Lead

Dr Ian Stanley (MBBChir MA(Cantab) FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Deputy Trust Medical Director, Multi-Professional Education, Workforce Transformation, Medical Education

Dr Steven Tran (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Perioperative Medicine Lead, Simulation Lead

Dr David Trotter (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: College Tutor, Obstetric, Maxillo-Facial

Dr Nick Truman (MB ChB, FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Research Lead

Dr Matthew Turner (MBChB FRCA)
Specialist Interests: Pre-op Assessment, HPB

Dr Elik Van der Heiden (FRCA)
Specialist Interests: GeneraL

Dr Haroon Waqar-Uddin  (FRCA, FFICM) Intensive Care
Specialist Interest: Audit Clinical Governace

Dr Jim Watts (FRCA, FFICM)- Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Colorectal
GMC  Advisor

Dr Dave Watson (FRCA FFICM) – Intensive Care
Specialist Interests: Hepatobiliary, General


Associate Specialists

Dr Asif Gani
Dr Nahid Ibrahim
Dr Stefan Utsch


Speciality Doctors

Dr Kumud Bhandari
Dr Greg Cox
Dr Zita Czikajlo
Dr Marek Frenkiel
Dr Zsolt Kovacsai
Dr Sonya MacGillivray
Dr Gillian Rennie
Dr Matthew Rostron
Dr Johanna Samar
Dr Sanjiv Sharma


Secretarial and Admin

Elaine Filbin
Julie Griffiths
Mariam Khan
Andrea Rogan
Carrie Smith

Other relevant information

Anaesthetics are given to allow patients to undergo operations and medical procedures without distress.

The word anaesthesia means ‘loss of sensation’. It can involve a simple local anaesthetic injection which numbs a small part of the body, such as a finger or around a tooth. It can also involve using powerful drugs which cause unconsciousness.

These drugs also affect the function of the heart, the lungs and the circulation. As a result, general anaesthesia is only given under the close supervision of an anaesthetist, who is trained to consider the best way to give you an effective anaesthetic but also to keep you safe and well.

The drugs used in anaesthesia work by blocking the signals that pass along your nerves to your brain. When the drugs wear off, you start to feel normal sensation again.