QVH has 25 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, providing excellent post-operative pain relief for these procedures.
QVH has a 5-bedded Critical Care Unit staffed by anaesthetic consultants and registrars, which specialises in the care of patients following major maxillofacial surgery.
Patient information leaflets and videos
The following leaflets provide information on the different types of anaesthetic you may receive. You will be advised in pre-assessment which type of anaesthetic is most appropriate for your surgery.
- Information leaflet – general anaesthetic
- Information leaflet – general anaesthetic for children
- Information leaflet – nerve block – regional anaesthesia for hand and forearm surgery
- Information leaflet – sedation
- Information leaflet – major surgery with intensive care admission afterwards
- Information leaflet – pain relief following hand or arm surgery
- Video – Awake fibre-optic intubation (AFOI) for maxillofacial surgery
Further patient information is available from the Royal College of Anaesthetists
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 Sarah Bailey
Dr Sarah Bailey MBBS, DCH, FRCA, qualified from St Mary’s Medical School in 1996 and joined Queen Victoria Hospital in 2014.
Her interests include paediatric anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia.
She is currently lead for paediatrics and is part of the hospital’s Green Plan Group whose aim is to help the Trust become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint.
Dr Ben Carey
Specialist interests: regional and ophthalmic anaesthesia, patient safety and human factors.
Dr Ben Carey qualified from St. George’s Medical School in London in 2010, and completed his anaesthetic training in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region. He spent a year at St Vincents’ Hospital Melbourne and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital as a provisional fellow specialising in Regional Anaesthesia. Dr Carey also worked as a consultant at the Royal Surrey County Hospital prior to joining QVH in 2022.
He has a Masters’ degree from the University of Edinburgh in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors.
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 Niamh Gavin
Dr Niamh Gavin MB BS BSc MRCP FRCA.
Qualified at St Bartholomew’s Medical School in 1998.
Dr Gavin’s specialist areas of interest are patient safety, simulation and human factors.
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 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 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 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.