Patient information | Association of Anaesthetists
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Patient information

Information on anaesthesia for patients and carers

Lots of people of all ages undergo anaesthetic procedures as part of their medical treatment every day. Learn more about anaesthesia, whether you're a patient or a carer, including risks, and links to other useful organisations. 

Anaesthesia in private practice

If you are having a private operation or medical procedure you should ask for a quotation for anaesthetic services before surgery. You then need to check with your insurer that these fees will be covered by them. Your anaesthetist is under no obligation to charge within your insurer’s maximum reimbursement fees, although many choose to do so. 

Some anaesthetists work independently in private practice, as well as working for the NHS. Some work in private hospitals full time. Most private hospitals require all their doctors, including anaesthetists, to be on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC). Plus they should hold or have held a consultant or senior specialist post in the NHS.

Find out more about the relationship between private doctors, their patients, and the insurers at the Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO).

Risks of anaesthesia

Serious problems are rare in modern anaesthesia.

Although risk cannot be removed completely, modern equipment, training and drugs have made it a much safer procedure in recent years . 

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has information on potential risks for anyone concerned about anaesthetic treatment.

Patients and carers

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has a dedicated site for patients and carers which includes information on everything from how to prepare for an operation, to how anaesthetists are trained.

Anaesthesia for children and young people

Children can find medical procedures and the idea of anaesthesia particularly challenging.The Royal College of Anaesthetists has information for children, carers, and parents including age appropriate worksheets written by children and young people. 

The Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland also has a section for parents and carers with advice on helping your child through their operation and anaesthetic treatment.

Useful medical sites

The following organisations provide general health guidance and advice on raising concerns over medical treatment.

Other anaesthesia websites

Learn more about anaesthesia and the different specialist branches of the discipline with these professional associations.