Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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The Care Group incorporates four distinct departments; Critical Care, The Hospital Sterilisation and Disinfection Unit, Department of Anaesthesia and Theatres, together forming a service provider business unit to the Organisation.

Critical Care

The Critical Care Unit was judged Outstanding by the CQC and has a safety culture focus. The large multidisciplinary team care for up to 24 patients on 2 very busy state of the art Units supported by established Outreach, Follow up, research and training teams. Over 1500 patients a year are admitted and the workload is diverse and varied, covering emergency and elective cases from a wide range of surgical and medical specialties. Though predominantly we deal with adult cases some paediatric emergencies and elective surgical cases are treated and admitted. The latest technology is available but care for our patients, their family and our staff is paramount. The Department has an international reputation and is a national reference site. Proactive development of the clinical information system means the Units are effectively paperless.


The Hospital Sterilisation and Disinfection Unit (HSDU) is a medical device directive and ISO 13485 accredited facility offering decontamination services to the Trust and external stakeholders. The unit has 77 technical staff who process over 170,000 instrument trays per annum for the Trust’s clinical departments. Additionally, undertaking flexible endoscope decontamination and deep cleaning of large hospital equipment (Instrument trolleys, drip stands etc.). BSI undertakes 6 monthly assessments to demonstrate that the decontamination of medical devices is undertaken in accordance with the legislation and standards. The assessments over the past twelve months have been successful with positive outcomes.

Operating Theatres

The CHAT Theatre Department and Day Surgical Unit delivers a whole range of surgical procedures to a large volume of patients across the South East Hampshire region. We have established ourselves as a Worldwide Centre of Excellence, by leading the way in Robotic Surgery and our reputation as a dynamic and innovative place to work is continually evolving.

We have 27 theatres in total, that span across two floors and we deliver a combination of elective, emergency and trauma procedures for both adults and paediatric patients. We cover a wide range of specialty groups that include General Surgery (Upper GI, Colorectal, Urology, Vascular, Gynaecology, Breast, Plastics and Renal), Head & Neck (ENT, Ophthalmic & Maxillofacial) and Trauma and Orthopaedics. We also support a number of remote areas that carry out invasive procedures and have been instrumental in driving safer surgery practices across the organisation.

The Theatre and Day Surgical Unit can perform in excess of 100 procedures each day and consists of a highly skilled workforce that we have developed in partnership with local Higher Education Institutions and the Trust Learning and Development Department. We employ a combination of professional groups that include both Registered Nurses and Registered Operating Department Practitioners, and we have pioneered the Assistant Practitioner role across a number of areas within the CHAT Theatre department.

We are an ever-expanding service in response to both local and national demand, and are currently moving towards a 6 day working week. We already provide 24 hour emergency cover and perform a number of elective procedures over the weekend. We have also increased our Day Surgery ward opening times in order to facilitate extended recovery periods and reduce unplanned overnight stays.

For more information regarding working in the Operating Department click here.

The Operating Department consist 27 operating theatres, a 22 bed Recovery room, Theatre Admissions Suite and a Day Surgery facility.

We are proud that our state of the art building houses a Da Vinci Surgical Robot and three OR1 endotheatres for keyhole surgical procedures, plus a variety of other highly technical equipment to support modern surgical and anaesthetic techniques.

Over 300 highly trained Theatre Practitioners (RGNs and AHPs) and Healthcare Support Workers work with our Consultant Anaesthetist and Surgical colleagues to deliver approximately 38,000 elective and emergency operation for our patients each year.

The Department of Anaesthesia

With over 50 Consultants, 4 Military Consultants and 9 Specialty Grade Doctors and 30 trainee Doctors the Anaesthetics Department is one of the largest medical bodies in the Trust.

As anaesthetists we provide general anaesthetics to patients undergoing surgery. We provide in the region of 300 clinical sessions per week along with a 24/7 on-call service. As a group of Doctors though we provide much more than just sedation; our services include pre operatively assessing patients to check their fitness and risks for surgery, taking care of patients on wards needing specialist input along with covering maternity labour wards and elective caesarean sections. Our service also is supported by 20 Pre Operative Assessment nurses who help assess a patients fitness for surgery and the Acute Pain nursing team who specialise in management of pain for patients undergoing surgical procedures.

Did you know?

- There are many different types of anaesthesia – general anaesthesia, local anaesthesia and nerve blocks, regional anaesthesia such as epidural or “spinal” anaesthesia and sedation for less invasive procedures.
- Anaesthetists are fully qualified doctors who then go on to train within anaesthesia for 7 or 8 years depending on their route of specialist training.
- Anaesthetists are involved in the whole perioperative pathway from pre-operative assessment and exercise testing to post-operative patient care on Surgical High Care.
- Many anaesthetists specialise in specific areas on interest such as Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Renal and Transplant Surgery, Major Cancer Surgery and  Difficult Airway.
- Anaesthetists have lead roles in Acute and Chronic pain medicine.
- Many anaesthetists train to become Intensive Care Doctors and have designated roles in the care of critically ill patients on the intensive Care Unit.
- Anaesthetists have major roles in patient safety, teaching and training.

Careers in Anaesthesia

If you are interested in a career in anaesthesia, the Royal College of Anaesthetists website has a wealth of information about the anaesthetic speciality.

Please follow the link http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/

The Department of Anaesthesia employs over 50 NHS Consultants, 4 military Consultants, 9 Specialty Grade Doctors and up to 31 Trainee Anaesthetists at any one time.

Anaesthesia is provided for the full range of surgical specialities within PHT 24/7. It provides cover for all elective and non-elective surgical theatre lists requiring General Anaesthetic. Also our team provide peripatetic services to Maternity, Surgical High Care Unit, Gastroenterology and Cardiology plus supporting ECT and Community Dental Services in the district. With nationally recognised expertise in the fields of difficult airway management and regional anaesthesia the Department also supports safe sedation practices throughout the Trust.

Additionally, the Clinician led Acute Pain and Pre-Operative Assessment services are provided by 24 Registered Nurses for the majority of surgical patients.


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Last updated - 24 April 2019
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