Core Anaesthetics Training

The HEKSS training programme in Anaesthetics is a 2 year programme. Successful completion of all the modules and a pass in all the components of Primary FRCA will enable you to apply for ST3 training in Anaesthetics.

HEKSS provides you with excellent training conditions in various District General Hospitals (DGH), offering you the modular training components needed for you to complete the Basic level training for a career in Anaesthetics.

This great opportunity to develop a broad experience in the friendly and supportive units within the region, combined with the ability to live within striking distance of London, offers a unique work-life balance.

You will rotate through 2 DGHs during your core training. The rotations are prefixed to give you a wider experience in all the basic units of training. During the 2 core years you will learn basic anaesthesia, as per the curriculum set by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. You will be offered all your 16 modules of the Basic level training between the 2 DGH placements

All trainees are given good guidance for exams and are expected to attend compulsory study days in the region, including simulation training. Surrey University has an excellent simulation suite which is used for regional simulation courses.

In Kent, you will undertake the Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) module in year one (CT1) and the Obstetrics Anaesthesia module in year two (CT2); whilst in Surrey, you will undertake the Basic Anaesthesia module in year one (CT1) and Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) and Obstetrics Anaesthesia module in year two (CT2). In Sussex, you will gain your initial assessment of competency and study Basic Anaesthesia in the first year together with ICM. Obstetric Anaesthesia will occur in your second year.

Training Pathway

To understand how the training pathway for Anaesthesia is structured please click here

Other opportunities

As soon as you commence your CT1 posts, you will be attending the 3 Novice day course in Anaesthesia. Simulation training in Critical incidents in Anaesthesia will follow this. These courses will enable you to be confident enough to gain the competencies required to obtain IAC.

In addition to the Primary FRCA oriented teaching run by individual departments, Kent offers regional VIVA courses for the exams.

We have an excellent teaching programme in Surrey and many FRCA examiners who can offer invaluable guidance in passing exams; and there is a very good opportunity for trainees to get involved in audit and research projects.

T&H Orange


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.

The Trainee Voice

Dan Lake“I have just recently completed my core training in anaesthetics in the Kent region of HEKSS. The experience and support I have gained from this time made applying for senior training in this region an easy decision. At the numerous hospitals I have worked at in this region, I have seen numerous different sub specialties giving me great exposure to all the different aspects of anaesthetics. There have been tough times during my anaesthetic core training, clinical and exam related, but more impressive than the clinical aspect of HEKSS training was the support network. All the clinical / educational supervisors and consultants have been very supportive especially around exam times using their own personal time and many opening their homes to trainees to aid with exam revision.

All three hospitals in the deanery which I have worked at have not only allowed real scope for juniors to get involved with change and future planning but have made me feel like part of a big family and I have made some great friends along the way.”

Daniel Lake, ST3 Anaesthetics, Kent

Meet the Training Programme Directors

Dr Prasad Vyakarnam MD, FRCA, FFICM Consultant Anaesthetist
Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford (KENT TPD)

Kent Anaesth TPDMy areas of interest include Paediatric Anaesthesia; ERP for Colorectal surgery; PG education; and training.

I completed my Medical schooling in India in 1995 and my Registrar training in North Central School of Anaesthesia, London. I joined Darent Valley Hospital as a Consultant in 2007. I am an Educational Supervisor and was the College Tutor till 2012. I took over as the TPD in 2014 and my vision is to provide excellent educational and practical experience to all the core trainees in the rotation thereby laying a strong foundation for a successful Anaesthetic Registrar training.

My hobbies include Cricket (I play for a Sunday team) and badminton.


Visweswar Nataraj, Consultant Anaesthetist
Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford (SURREY TPD)

Surrey Anaes TPDI graduated from a medical School in India in 1987 and started my career in Anaesthetics. I underwent postgraduate anaesthetic training in North-West School, Manchester and joined Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford as a Consultant in 2005.

My areas of interest are Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery; Head & Neck Surgery; Pre-operative Assessment; and Education and training.

I have been an Educational supervisor and college tutor for three years and taken over the Core TPD role, looking after core Anaesthetic trainees and ACCS trainees.


Mark Sinden, Consultant Anaesthetist
Tunbridge Wells Hospital (SUSSEX TPD)

Mark SindenI qualified from Guy’s Hospital last century! Initially trained as a GP. Subsequently saw the light & re-trained as an anaesthetist. Currently Consultant Anaesthetist at Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Worked as an educational supervisor & served 7 years as College Tutor before commencing HEKSS TPD role. Also Deputy Regional Advisor for RCoA. Firmly believe in the importance of excellent quality postgraduate training that HEKSS School of Anaesthesia provides. Hobbies outside of work include skiing, golf, & wooden box making. Trying to learn to play the guitar (part of my mid-life crisis!).


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