QVH has 18 consultant anaesthetists, five associate and trust grade specialists and eight senior anaesthetic trainees with responsibilities to patients before, during and after surgery. The team provide pre-operative assessment, anaesthesia, pain and critical care services in the Trust.
The department has pioneered and developed special expertise in dealing with patients with abnormal airways due to facial deformity, techniques to lower blood pressure and reduce bleeding during delicate surgery, and the use of ultrasound for the placement of regional local anaesthetics for the upper limb.
QVH is a specialist centre for hand trauma and elective surgery on the hand and upper limb. A large proportion of this surgery is carried out under regional anaesthesia alone, avoiding the need for general anaesthetic, or in addition to sedation or general anaesthesia, providing excellent post-operative pain relief for these procedures.
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The anaesthetic recovery room exists to ensure patients are fit to discharge to the ward following surgery. We monitor all interventions that are made in recovery, including medical review, intravenous analgesia, unexpected discharge to critical care and all complications such as hypothermia or airway difficulties.
The team performed 1,200 upper limb regional anaesthetic blocks for upper limb surgery. An audit in October 2017, which involved contacting patients 24-48 hours following their upper limb operation under a regional anaesthetic alone, found 96% were satisfied with the anaesthetic technique.
Full details of our patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness measures are published in our annual Quality Report. Find the latest version here.
Dr Kenneth Sim
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia for burns and plastic surgery; critical care
Ken Sim has been a consultant anaesthetist at QVH since 1996, and has been Clinical Director for the department since 2008. He qualified from Edinburgh University and subsequently trained in anaesthetics and intensive care in the London region.
Beyond the clinical aspects of burns injury, with particular interests in metabolic management and lung injury, he has been a long serving participant in the process of national and regional burn care review. He is currently a member of the London and South East Burns Clinical Expert Panel, and was formerly part of the National Burn Care Review Group and an executive member of the British Burn Association.
Dr Timothy Vorster
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia and burns intensive care
Dr Vorster was appointed as a consultant at QVH in 2001. He qualified in medicine at University College London and Middlesex Hospitals Medical School and went on to specialise in anaesthesia, training on the King’s College Hospital rotation.
His interests include anaesthesia for major head and neck reconstructive surgery, upper and lower limb trauma and reconstructive plastic surgery. He specialises in difficult airways, intravenous anaesthesia and ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia.
Dr Vorster was appointed Clinical Director of Anaesthetics and Pre-assessment in 2015. He runs a weekly consultant anaesthetic pre-assessment clinic where he sees patients due to have major surgery or who have major medical problems, to ensure their safe and successful treatment at QVH.
He is one of the burns anaesthetists who looks after our intensive care patients, and provides anaesthesia for burn patients. He has an interest in the treatment of acute pain and works with the pain team in difficult cases.
Dr Vorster also has a special interest in reducing waste in the NHS and is the hospital’s ‘Green Champion’, and founding member of the QVH Sustainability Development Group.
Dr Alison Chalmers
Specialist interests: Maxillofacial surgery; difficult airway management; preoperative assessment; education.
Dr Alison Chalmers qualified from Birmingham University in 1998. She trained in anaesthetics at the Queens’ Medical Centre in Nottingham and in hospitals throughout the East Midlands. She then completed a one year advanced fellowship in difficult airway management at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
She is the current Royal College of Anaesthetists College Tutor acting as the educational lead for anaesthetic training at QVH. She is an author of the 2019 and 2020 ‘Guidelines for the provision of anaesthesia services for ENT, oral maxillofacial and dental surgery’ which support anaesthetists with responsibilities for service delivery and healthcare managers to design and deliver high quality anaesthetic services. They are developed using a rigorous, evidence based process and are accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Dr Chalmers has been a consultant anaesthetist at QVH since 2010.
Dr Joy Curran
Speciality area: Acute pain management, anaesthesia for maxillofacial surgery, paediatric anaesthesia, training and education.
Dr Joy Curran qualified from St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1987 and has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at Queen Victoria since 1998.
Previously Dr Curran has been a local College Tutor (1999 to 2005), deputy Regional Advisor (2007 to 2013) and Regional Advisor (2014 to 2017) for South East Thames /Royal College of Anaesthesia. She has also been the lead / training programme director for less than full time training for SE Thames for many years until 2014.
Currently Dr Curran is the acute pain lead and guardian of safe working hours for the Trust, alongside carrying out normal theatre anaesthesia sessions.
Dr Ali Diba
Specialist interests: Difficult airway problems and anaesthetic equipment
Dr Ali Diba qualified in Medicine from Southampton University in 1986. He completed his anaesthetic training as Senior Registrar at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London together with additional sub-specialty training at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square. He has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at QVH since 1999.
Dr Diba was originally a burns anaesthetist looking after the intensive care and anaesthesia of patients with burns type injuries, however he now predominantly works with anaesthesia for maxillofacial surgery – including both orthognathic and major head and neck cancer surgery and reconstruction. He also routinely works with patients needing anaesthesia for upper limb surgery coming through the QVH hand trauma unit.
Dr Diba’s particular fields of expertise are in the management of patients with “difficult airways” and the technique of Total Intravenous Anaesthesia; subjects that he teaches both in-house and at national meetings. At QVH he frequently hosts visiting anaesthetists wishing to gain additional experience in these fields.
Dr Diba is interested in anaesthetic equipment and remains, alongside Dr Andrew Davey, co-editor of Ward’s Anaesthetic Equipment. This is the standard UK tome on the subject; the latest edition of which was the winner of the 2012 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards for anaesthesia. He has acted as expert advisor to NICE and consulted for manufacturers of medical devices.
Ali’s non-academic interests include horseradish and sea urchins.
Dr Julian Giles
Specialist interests: Critical care and burns anaesthesia
Dr Julian Giles qualified from St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School in 1992.
He trained in general medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He worked as a Lecturer at the Jimma Medical College in Ethiopia before returning to the UK to start his anaesthetic training at St Thomas’s Hospital. He was the LMA Anaesthetic Research Fellow at Oxford University between 2002 and 2004.
He was appointed as a Consultant Anaesthetist at the Queen Victoria Hospital in 2004.
Julian is the research lead for anaesthetics.
Dr Susanne Krone
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia for maxillofacial surgery and regional anaesthesia for upper limb sugery
Dr Susanne Krone has pioneered the use of ultrasound imaging for accurate placement of local anaesthetics for surgery on the hand and upper limb.
Dr Yeeman Lam
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia for ophthalmic surgery and paediatrics
Dr Yeeman Lam trained at St Georges Hospital in London and qualified in 1986.
After initially training as a general practitioner, she decided to specialise in anaesthesia. Dr Lam has trained in the subspecialties of intensive care medicine and anaesthesia for paediatric and ophthalmic surgery and, since her appointment at QVH, , has concentrated on children and eye surgery.
Dr Colin Lawrence
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia for cancer and burns reconstruction.
Dr Colin Lawrence gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiology from the University of Bristol before completing his medical studies at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in London.
He trained in Anaesthetics at Kings College Hospital and at hospitals throughout the South Thames Region. He was the Difficult Airway Fellow at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals in 2003.
He has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at the Queen Victoria Hospital since September 2003.
Dr Chetan Patel
Specialist interest: Training
Dr Chetan Patel is the Royal College of Anaesthetists Tutor for the Department, and responsible for the training of the eight specialist registrars. In 2016 he was appointed Director of Medical Education.
Dr Edward Pickles
Specialist interests: Maxillofacial and paediatric anaesthesia; paediatric surgical care; medical education.
Dr Edward Pickles has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at the Queen Victoria Hospital since 2006.
He qualified in medicine from the University of Dundee, and then trained in anaesthesia in Yorkshire and the London areas, including Kings College Hospital, Great Ormond Street and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
Dr Jonathan Sanders
Specialist interests: Anaesthesia for burns; intensive treatment unit; maxillofacial surgery and bedside echocardiography.
Dr Jonathan Sanders graduated in 1992 from Newcastle University Medical School. He completed his anaesthetic training at St Georges School of Anaesthesia in 2002.
Dr Sanders joined QVH in 2002 as a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care. His weekly programme typically includes a full day of maxillofacial surgery, a full day of burns intensive care plus two days of plastic surgery. He also has up-to-date paediatric life support accreditation.
Dr Sanders is the lead clinician for the Recovery Unit and is a member of the Nutrition Steering Group. He is also Sepsis lead for the Trust.
He is trained in handheld echocardiography which enables heart problems to be assessed and diagnosed at QVH. This avoids delay to surgery which may result from having to be referred elsewhere for this test.
Dr Peter Venn
Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead
Specialist interests: Diagnosis and treatment of insomnia and treatments of obstructive sleep apnoea
Peter J Venn has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, West Sussex since 1991. He qualified from The Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1979 and after training as an SHO and registrar in London was a Senior Registrar in the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics in Oxford.
He is past Head of the South Eastern School of Anaesthesia, past Regional Adviser to the Royal College of Anaesthetists for South Thames (East), past Chairman of the South Thames Specialty Training Committee, and an examiner for the Primary FRCA from 1997-2008. He is an elected member of Council of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, and past Editor of the Bulletin of the Royal College. He is past chairman of the Communications Committee for the RCA, and current chairman of the Professional Standards Committee. In 2015, he was Vice President of The Royal College of Anaesthetists.
He founded the Sleep Disorder Centre in 1992, now one of the largest centres in sleep medicine in the UK, and is a past council member and past Membership Secretary of the British Sleep Society. He has published extensively in sleep disorders and anaesthesia in journals and on the internet. He has lectured at home and abroad in both subjects.
Current clinical interests include the criteria for the treatment of patients with sleep disordered breathing using mandibular advancement splints and, more recently, with bimaxillary and saggital split osteotomy. He has a particular interest in patients with insomnia.
Dr Glenn Wearne
Specialist interests: Difficult airway management, pre-assessment, ophthalmic and paediatrics.
Glen Wearne joined QVH in 2005 and is the anaesthetic lead for our day surgery unit.
He qualified in 1991 from Wits University medical school, Johannesburg, undertook his anaesthetic training at King’s College Hospital and a fellowship at Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia in 2002/3.