Intermediate and Higher Anaesthetics Training

Since 2012, following the separation from London, HEKSS has extended the anaesthetic training programme from Core to include Intermediate and Higher and now provides a complete programme in Anaesthesia, leading to accreditation in the specialty.

In HEKSS, you will have the opportunity to develop a broad base of specialty experience in friendly and supportive units within the region, together with the advantage of gaining access to world-class centres of expertise in London. This combination will provide excellent exposure in preparation for obtaining a substantive consultant post in either a District General Hospital (DGH) or a tertiary centre.

Due to the large size of the region the anaesthetic rotation is divided into a North and South programme. The North rotation is split further into Kent and Surrey with the South rotation comprising of hospitals in Sussex.

In the North rotation you will spend a total of 2.5 years in a DGH in Kent or Surrey and 2.5 years in a teaching hospital in London. Trainees go to London (Guy’s, Kings, and St Thomas’s School of Medical Education known as GKT) for 6 months intermediate training in Cardiac, Paediatrics and Neurosurgery. An additional year is spent in London (GKT) at ST6 for higher spiral training, which includes a 3-month block in Intensive Care Medicine. Trainees will spend a year in Advanced Training Posts either in London or HEKSS. The programme will provide all the specialty-training requirements to obtain a CCT in Anaesthesia.

For further information on the RCOA Anaesthesia Training Programme, please visit the webpage

Where can I train?

The HEKSS Hospitals include:

Higher Rotation sites

We can negotiate access to other London hospitals based on individual training requirements.

T&H Orange

Examples of North Rotations

Example rotations Anaesth









Other Opportunities

We also have a dedicated TPD for trainee support who can be contacted independently or via a referral from either your Educational Supervisor or College Tutor.

There is access to regional simulation and study days and you will also have access to post FRCA training days in London at St6/7.

In conjunction with Brighton University there is the opportunity to gain an MSc in Anaesthesia. This is available for all HEKSS trainees.

Out of Programme Opportunities (OOP)

HEKSS support trainees in pursuing Out Of Programme (OOP) opportunities. In higher anaesthetics you may apply for these after completion of ST5.  Trainees are encouraged to plan these opportunities early and discuss plans with their educational supervisors and HEKSS Training Programme Director, as a minimum of 6 months’ notice is required for applications to HEKSS, to allow sufficient vacancy management within the programme; for further information see here.


We understand that for various reasons trainees personal circumstances may require a reduction in hours, in order for them to achieve a suitable work/ life balance.  Within HEKSS we have a dedicated Less Than Full Time (LTFT) team who can guide and support trainees in applying for LTFT training.  For further information see here.

Meet the Training Programme Directors

Justin Dickens
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Chichester (South)

I have been in Chichester for 10 years and I am the Training Programme Director for Higher Trainees in Anaesthesia in HEKSS South. Most of my anaesthetic training was based around St Georges Hospital in London, but as I have a subspecialty interest in Intensive Care Medicine, I have also worked at The Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.

Having trained in the region, I am a strong advocate of our excellent broad based training, whilst still having access to world class subspecialty centres in London. This gives a good balance to training, allowing our trainees to develop good core skills before deciding what path their careers will take. All of our placements in the first four years are year long to allow trainees to become familiar with their hospital placements and to allow time for audit and research if possible. We also have a strong track record in supporting trainees during difficult periods in their lives and have a dedicated Trainee Support Role within HEKSS, to help trainees throughout their training.

Dr Chetan Patel FRCA
Consultant Anaesthetist, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (North)

I trained as an undergraduate at St Georges Hospital, London and qualified in 1992.

My postgraduate training in Anaesthesia was mainly centred on London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. I also had the opportunity and pleasure of a brief spell in Australia. Having obtained my CCT in 2002, I spent a rewarding year in a research fellowship in Queen Victoria Hospital where I obtained my consultant post in 2003.

My attraction for education and training stems from my years as a trainee and my role as a College Tutor. In 2011, I was appointed by KSS as a TPD for Intermediate and Higher Specialty Trainees following their separation from the London training programme. The (New) North rotation now provides excellent training opportunities and has developed into a popular and highly sought after rotation.

Having experienced the benefits of training in London and the Southeast of England, working abroad and having had the opportunity of a post CCT fellowship, I am very keen to support trainee development and Out of Programme applications to ensure current trainees have the same excellent opportunities I had.

I am committed to continue to develop this programme to ensure it parallels the developing needs of future trainees.

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