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Anaesthesia Associates

Anaesthesia Associates (AAs) are highly trained, skilled practitioners who work as part of the team under the direction and supervision of a Consultant Anaesthetist.

The AA role was first introduced in 2004 and is now established within many NHS hospitals, with approximately 160 AAs on The Royal College of Anaesthetists’ Managed Voluntary Register (as of 2022). This impact case study provides insight into how the AA roles are typically used, and the impact of the role on NHS patients, systems, and workforce.  

If you are interested in becoming an Anaesthesia Associate, please find further details on the Health Careers webpage - here you will find information on entry requirements, working life and training. 

In the video below, Dr Paavan Gorur, Consultant Anaesthetist at UCLH talks about his experience of working alongside AAs. 



National funding model 

Introduction of the AA role and training requires the support of an individual NHS Trust. Once this has been established, students eligible for entry into an AA programme will either be: 

  • An experienced registered health care professional e.g., a nurse or operating department practitioner with at least three years’ full-time, post-qualification work experience and evidence of recent academic study 

  • Graduates with a biomedical science or biological science 2:1 honours degree or better 

To help establish a sustainable supply route for Anaesthesia Associates, supporting the expansion of the workforce pipeline and the delivery of the key objectives in the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England (NHSE) are providing a national funding offer until April 2024, for a limited number of AA posts across NHSE regions. 

The success of the approach and continued need for this level of funding will be reviewed prior to any decisions around funding beyond April 2024. Funding, accessed via NHSE regions, includes a consistent salary support offer for all student AAs, a contribution towards tuition fees and educational supervision in the workplace. 

To find more information on the national funding offer, please find a list of supporting documents below that provide additional guidance:

To discuss the funding offer in more detail, please use the contact details below for the NHSE contact within your region: 

North East and Yorkshire: mandy.brailsford@hee.nhs.uk  

North West: maps.nw@hee.nhs.uk  

East of England: rebecca.tongue@hee.nhs.uk or dominic.lewis@nnuh.nhs.uk  

Midlands: stuart.baird@hee.nhs.uk  

London: Raphael.broughton@hee.nhs.uk  

South East: maria.mitchell@hee.nhs.uk  

South West: ilana.langdon@hee.nhs.uk  


In the video below, Consultant Anaesthetists and AAs at UCLH talk about their experience of the AA role.



Blended learning programme 

NHSE have commissioned the development and delivery of new blended learning programmes for Anaesthesia Associates. This will extend the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) offering the AA Course to the University of Birmingham, Lancaster Medical School and University College London. Further course details can be found on the Health Careers website.  

For further details and additional resources, please see links below: 

Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) 

Association of Anaesthesia Associates (AAA) 

GMC and Regulation 


MAPs Core Capabilities Framework 

The MAPs Core Capabilities Framework is now available on the Medical Associate Professions page.  

NHS England are working to: 

  • Support a sustainable increase in the AA training pipeline to 2025 

  • Support the development of more AA training programmes across England 

  • Develop a sustainable funding model, to include an apprenticeship training route 

  • Develop the educational capacity and infrastructure to support AA workforce expansion 


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