Projects | Association of Anaesthetists

Nuffield Place Partnership


Nuffield Place and the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

This year, the Heritage Centre is collaborating with Nuffield Place in Oxfordshire. 

Nuffield Place is the former home of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Motors and one of the most prolific philanthropists of the 20th century.

Lord Nuffield had two terrible encounters with anaesthesia before his friend Sir Robert Macintosh anaesthetised him for a procedure, showing him that being anaesthetised did not have to be an unpleasant experience. When the opportunity arose to fund department chairs at Oxford University, Nuffield insisted on a Chair of Anaesthetics. This was the first in Europe and meant that young doctors could study anaesthetics at postgraduate level and gain practical experience for the first time.

During the Second World War and beyond the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics designed a variety of anaesthetic devices, manufactured at Morris’s factory and often using Morris’s car parts. Many of them were used in the armed forces and, later, in low- and middle-income countries.

When you visit Nuffield Place, you will see two panels about the relationship between Lord Nuffield and Macintosh, and about Polio and ventilation in their newly refurbished library. We will also be there for an activity weekend in May, where we run various talks and activities. Keep an eye out for more details!

Nuffield Place c NT James Dobson

13 May 2020 MW Robert Macintosh and Nuffield, P170