Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
Founded 1932
Founder Dr Henry W Featherstone & Sir Ivan Magill
Focus Anaesthesia
Slogan "in somno securitas"

Dr Henry Featherstone founded The Association of Anaesthetists in 1932, when GPs gave most anaesthetics in the UK and Ireland as a sideline. Anaesthetists were not respected by other specialists and were poorly paid. Surgeons provided referrals and collected and paid their fees.

The AAGBI's negotiations before the NHS was established in 1948 and ensured anaesthetists received consultant status. It instigated the founding of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (now the Royal College of Anaesthetists) in 1947 and supported the foundation of the Faculty (now College) of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1959.

The AAGBI adopted the motto 'in somno securitas' (safe in sleep) when it was granted the right to bear arms by King George VI in 1945. Patients and anaesthetists alike can be secure in the knowledge that the Association continues to protect their mutual interests. The AAGBI office is located in the centre of London.

Past presidents

Blue plaque, London


Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership was instituted in 1932 at the time that the Association was founded. The award is accompanied by a citation and a certificate. The award is usually made at or about the time of retirement from clinical practice.

Sir Ivan Magill Gold Medal

The Sir Ivan Magill Gold Medal "for innovation" was instituted in 1988 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the pioneer anaesthetist Sir Ivan Magill. It is awarded for uniquely outstanding innovative contributions to the specialty of anaesthesia.

John Snow Silver Medal

The John Snow Silver Medal was instituted in 1946. The first three awards were to anaesthetists who had distinguished themselves and received awards for gallantry in World War II (2 OBEs and an MC). One of these was also the Founder President and a second a distinguished academic anaesthetist.

Pask Certificate of Honour

The Pask Award was instituted in 1977 after the Moorgate Underground disaster. The award was instituted to enable Council to honour those who have rendered distinguished service, either with gallantry in the performance of their clinical duties, in a single meritorious act or consistently and faithfully over a long period.

Evelyn Baker Medal

The Evelyn Baker medal was instituted in 1998 for outstanding clinical competence, recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of clinical anaesthesia and related practice. The defining characteristics of clinical competence are deemed to be technical proficiency, consistently reliable clinical judgement and wisdom, and skill in communicating with patients, their relatives and colleagues. The ability to train and enthuse junior colleagues is seen as an integral part of communication skill, extending beyond formal teaching or academic presentation.

Featherstone Certificate

The Featherstone Award was instituted in 2001 in memory of Dr Henry Featherstone, founder of the AAGBI and is made to practicing anaesthetists in acknowledgement of their substantial contribution to the practice of anaesthesia.

Charles King Award

The award was instituted to enable Council to honour those who have rendered significant services to the heritage of anaesthesia in general or to the museum and archives of the AAGBI in particular.

Anniversary Medal

The Anniversary Medal was instituted in 2007 as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the AAGBI. The first person to be awarded the Anniversary Medal was Dr Kate Bullen, an SAS anaesthetist.

Editors' Award

The Editors' Award was instituted in 2008 to enable the Council of the AAGBI to honour those who have rendered significant editorial services to the AAGBI and its publications.

Past Vice President Medal

This medal was instituted in 2007 to enable the Council of the AAGBI to honour those who have served on Council as Vice President.

Council Award

The award was instituted to enable the Council of the Association to honour those who have served on the Association Council either as an elected or a co-opted member.

Langton Hewer Award

The award was instituted to enable Council to honour those members of the medical trade who have made significant contributions to anaesthesia or to the Association.

Education and Meetings


Winter Scientific Meeting (WSM)

WSM LONDON is one of the AAGBI’s largest annual events. Held in London each year, WSM is the leading anaesthetic meeting in the UK with an attendance of around 800 national and international delegates. The scientific programme is led by high-profile speakers and focuses on current issues in anaesthesia. There is an extensive trade exhibition with around 40 leading companies in anaesthetics attending. WSM is aimed at all levels of anaesthetists from trainees to consultants and is a European CPD accredited meeting. For abstract submission, exhibition and sponsorship opportunities and more information on the meeting, please visit

The Group of Anaesthetists in Training (GAT)

The Group of Anaesthetists in Training (GAT) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is the leading trainee scientific meeting in the UK aimed at all levels of trainee anaesthetists from ST1 to ST7. GAT has an attendance of around 400 delegates each year and gives trainees a great opportunity to network with their colleagues, present their work as an oral presentation or poster and attend hands-on workshops. For abstract submission, exhibition and sponsorship opportunities and more information on the meeting, please visit

Annual Congress

Annual Congress is the flagship event of the AAGBI and is held in various locations around the UK and Ireland. Annual Congress is one of the leading anaesthetic meetings in the UK with an attendance of around 800-1000 national and international delegates. It features informative sessions, high-profile speakers and an extensive trade exhibition with over 40 leading anaesthetics companies attending. Annual Congress is aimed all levels of anaesthetists from trainees to consultants and is a European CPD accredited meeting. For abstract submission, exhibition and sponsorship opportunities and more information on the meeting, please visit


AAGBI offers educational seminars featuring leading experts in the fields of anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine who present the latest information on a variety of key anaesthesia topics. Seminars are designed to focus on a specific field of interest within anaesthesia and help to build on specialist interests. They offer an intimate learning environment with a maximum of 50 delegates at each.

Core Topics

Core Topics are one- or two-day conferences organised by AAGBI at different locations around UK and Ireland allowing delegates the chance to update their knowledge in a cost effective and convenient way. The aim of the AAGBI Core Topics programme is to offer high quality continuing medical education for anaesthetists in a city close to their home. An essential part of the AAGBI’s educational programme, the Core Topics meetings are aimed at all grades of anaesthetists.


Learn@AAGBI is an area of the website where members can find a wealth of educational, learning and CPD resources. They can learn in their own time and keep a record of there completed CPD for use in appraisals and revalidation.

Heritage Centre

The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre contains the Association’s archives, the Anaesthesia Museum and a rare book collection and is open to everyone. The Heritage Centre is a unique resource for research into the history of anaesthesia.

The centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 to 5. There is no charge, but appointments are recommended. It consists of a museum with a collection of over 4,500 objects dating back to 1774, the Association's own archives, which date back to 1932, and a reference library. The museum is a member of The London Museums of Health & Medicine.[1]


Undergraduate Award

The Wylie Medal is awarded to the most meritorious essay on the topic related to anaesthesia, the topic for the essay question changes year on year. The award is open to undergraduate medical student at a university in Great Britain or Ireland. Prizes of £500, £250 and £150 are awarded to the best three submissions. The overall winners are given the Wylie Medal in memory of Dr W Derek Wylie, President of the AAGBI 1980-82.

SAS Award

The AAGBI invites applications for the SAS Audit Prize and the SAS Research Prize. These are exclusively for SAS doctors to encourage them to undertake audit and research. Entries will be judged by the Research & Grants Committee of the AAGBI. All SAS doctors who are members of the AAGBI are eligible to apply for the prize.

AAGBI Innovation

The main aims of AAGBI Innovation are to promote innovation in anaesthesia and intensive care, to help individuals in their 'journey' from the concept to the finished product, to facilitate introduction to the medical equipment manufacturers or relevant organisation, to facilitate testing of new equipment or idea and to facilitate marketing of a new product or an idea. It involves holding workshops/clinics and seminars on the subject, having regular features in Anaesthesia News and the best innovations featured in Anaesthesia and having plenary or satellite sessions during Annual Congress and WSM London.



GAT (Group of Anaesthetists in Training) represents the interests of trainee anaesthetists across the UK and Ireland. GAT members account for around one third of the total membership of the AAGBI. GAT is run by the elected GAT Committee, and has members sitting on the Board of Directors of the AAGBI and representation on many other committees including the Intensive Care Society Trainee Committee and the BMA Junior Doctors Committee.


Staff grade, associate specialist and specialty doctors (SAS) are important members of any department, especially in Anaesthesia, and make an enormous contribution to service work. Doctors enter the SAS grade for many different reasons. Some enter from different training systems as the SAS route provides a means for secure employment; some have child care or family responsibilities and others do not wish to take on the role of consultant with the attendant responsibilities and duties. The AAGBI has grants and prizes designed especially for SAS doctors such as the SAS Audit, Research Prize and the SAS travel grant.


The AAGBI has more than 10,500 members, the majority of whom are consultants. The AAGBI's constitution commits to represent, support and advance the interests of our members, and we therefore commit a considerable proportion of our resources to supporting consultant practice.



The AAGBI publish guidelines on many topics relating to Anaesthesia. Titles include; Best Practice in the Management of Epidural Analgesia in the Hospital Setting, Organising a Year Abroad, Good Anaesthetist - Standards of Practice for Career Grade Anaesthetists and many others.


Anaesthesia is the official journal of the AAGBI and is international in scope and comprehensive in coverage. It publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of general and regional anaesthesia, intensive care and pain therapy, including research on equipment. Although primarily a clinical journal, it welcomes submissions of basic science papers if the authors can demonstrate their clinical relevance. Anaesthesia has a very high immediacy factor, demonstrating the relevance of articles to the anaesthesia community, and an impact factor of 3.008.

Anaesthesia News

Anaesthesia News is the official newsletter of the AAGBI. Regular features include reports from the Officers and President, a GAT page for trainees, a history page, a specialist society page, letters to the Editor and an Editorial. We also aim to include a healthy dose of humour in each edition, and strongly encourage members of all grades to contribute.

Anaesthesia Cases

Anaesthesia Cases is an on-line, editorially-reviewed, journal of case reports in anaesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care. It is provided by the AAGBI as a resource to its members and other registered users. It is linked to the journal Anaesthesia.


IRC Funding and Travel Grants

The International Relations Committee (IRC) of the AAGBI Foundation considers applications for funding for projects usually, but not exclusively, in lower resourced countries

Overseas Funding

The Overseas Anaesthesia Fund (OAF) was launched by the AAGBI in 2006 to enable individuals and organisations to donate directly to AAGBI programmes that support training and promote safer anaesthesia in developing countries. OAF is involved with a variety of projects to support anaesthetists in low- and middle-income countries. All administrative costs are met by the Foundation, so that all money that you donate goes directly to support the projects supported by OAF.


  1. "Medical Museums". Retrieved 26 August 2016.

External links

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