The future of the anaesthesia workforce and Anaesthesia Associates
Anaesthesia Associates (AAs) are highly skilled professionals, trained to safely deliver anaesthesia under the direction and supervision of a consultant anaesthetist. AAs are a continuous, flexible and reliable workforce that can contribute to an anaesthetic department in many different ways.
There is currently a significant shortage of anaesthetists in the UK, and this shortage is set to grow considerably in coming years. Without effective workforce planning, the NHS will be unable to cope with the current backlog of operations and growing waiting lists.
The expansion of the Anaesthesia Associate workforce is one way to alleviate the problem. In the wake of the current NHS England (NHSE) funding model to train AAs, this is more desirable than ever.
Funding to train Anaesthesia Associates
NHSE is supporting a sustainable increase in the training of Anaesthesia Associates and is providing national funding for up to 120 students per year across NHSE regions until April 2024.
NHSE London has confirmed the funding of 20 Student Anaesthesia Associates to start training in March 2024.
The funding offer per AA student in London is broken down as below:
- salary support 100 per cent in Year 1 and 50 per cent in Year 2 at the following rates (including on-costs) - £46,402 (Outer London), £48,472 (Inner London)
- tuition fee contribution of up to £6,500 per trainee per annum.
- contribution of up to £2,700 per trainee per annum, towards educational supervision
Funding applications for the March 2024 student intake are now open. To apply for funding, please fill out the Funding and Expression of Interest (EOI) form and return to it to Frances.email@example.com by 5pm on Friday 1 September 2023.
Please access the Funding and EOI guidance for more information on how to complete the form.
To help with your application, please refer to the resources below created by NHSE and University College London Hospital (UCLH):
- Student AA Job description
- A Guide to Supervising Student Anaesthesia Associates in London
- UCLH AA Example Business Case
To hear about the experience of the Consultant Anaesthetists working with AAs and of AAs themselves, please visit the NHSE Anaesthesia Associate webpage to watch some filmed interviews.
London Anaesthesia Associate (AA) Training Programme
The London Anaesthesia Associate training programme is responsible for the delivery and quality assurance of training for AAs across London.
Training Programme Lead London Anaesthesia Associate Ambassador
Dr Daniel Heaton Frances Marfleet
Consultant Anaesthetist UCLH Anaesthesia Associate UCLH
For more information, please email Daniel Heaton and Frances Marfleet.
Anaesthesia Associate Training – University College London (UCL)
In September 2021, UCL launched the Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science Master’s Programme. This equips student AAs with the academic and professional qualities to undertake the role of an Anaesthesia Associate. This is a two-year blended learning programme taught by experts in the perioperative field. Please visit the website for more information.
Royal College of Anaesthetists and AAs
The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) hold the AA Managed Voluntary Register (MVR). All qualified AAs are encouraged to maintain their presence on the AA Managed Voluntary Register. Alongside this, AAs are eligible to become affiliate members of the RCoA.
Together with the General Medical Council, the RCoA has developed the Anaesthesia Associate Curriculum to ensure quality of knowledge and training and to align professional standards.
The RCoA has developed an AA scope of practice document to outline supervision standards and appropriate ways of working. Find more about the RCoA and AAs.
In March 2023, the RCoA hosted an Anaesthesia Associate Information Event in collaboration with NHS England. To watch some recorded presentations given at this event, please refer to our list of recordings.
General Medical Council and AAs
The General Medical Council (GMC) is currently designing the processes and policies required to regulate Anaesthesia Associates. Regulation with the GMC is expected to begin in the second half of 2024. Please visit the GMC website for more information.
Association of Anaesthesia Associates
The Association of Anaesthesia Associates is the representative body of the Anaesthesia Associate role in the UK. The aims of the Association are to:
- ensure the highest standards of patient care through the education and registration of Anaesthesia Associates
- promote the interests of the profession nationally.