Obstetric Anaesthesia Unit
The Labour suite accommodates about 4800 deliveries every year.
There are seven Consultant Obstetric Anaesthetist, Dr Paul Slater is the lead consultant for the service. Our aim is to provide highest quality of Anaesthesia and pain relief to expectant mothers. We regularly audit the quality of our maternity anaesthetic services to ensure we are achieving this aim. In addition the department also supports and advises mothers, midwives and the obstetricians antenatally helping plan the safest care for high risk cases.
We provide a 24 hour service for epidurals for pain relief in labour and anaesthesia for obstetric interventions. Our labour ward suite has 2 operating theatres; one is used for planned caesarean sections while the other allows us to deal rapidly with any urgent cases that may arise.
The majority of daytime sessions are covered directly by Consultants and Non Consultant Career Grade anaesthetists and there is always a consultant 24 hours a day nominated for providing anaesthetic cover for the Labour ward.
We have a number of anaesthetists in training helping provide front line support for the labour ward, all are experienced trainees who have gained competencies in obstetric anaesthesia and are able to manage most obstetric anaesthetic services. In common with the rest of the UK the majority of caesarean sections in Northampton are carried out with “spinal anaesthesia” allowing mum to be awake for her delivery and allowing dad to be directly involved as well.
We also provide a comprehensive training programme which enables more junior anaesthetists to develop the skills necessary to allow them to practice obstetric anaesthesia safely. This training programme is supported by a regularly updated handbook containing local guidelines and protocols.