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Interview with Katrina Gannon

Interview with Katrina Gannon
Dr Katrina Gannon - Consultant Anaesthetist, Belford Hospital

Can you tell me about yourself and your job role?

I am one of four anaesthetic consultants at the Belford Hospital in Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The Belford is a small, but very busy 43-bedded Rural General Hospital.

I am now the longest serving anaesthetist of the department and I’m in charge of our rota- we are a consultant led service with no anaesthetic trainees or middle grades.

We cover the on call (non-resident) as well as four elective theatre days per week and regular pre-assessment clinics.


Can you tell me why you are speaking at Anaesthesia & Critical Care, what you will be speaking about and a sneak preview of your session?

I am a member of the Anaesthesia & Critical Care advisory board and when I mentioned in passing that there’s only four of us, people got curious about our setup. I thought it might be interesting and maybe a bit of an eye opener for colleagues who have only ever worked in big teaching hospitals to hear about how we do things at the Belford.

I will be speaking about our unique situation as the “Outdoor Capital of the UK” with plenty of trauma and a population that doubles and trebles in high season. I will offer an insight into our 1 in 4 on call rota and explain why this is not nearly as bad as it sounds.

I will be showing a few pictures of our beautiful surroundings and I will discuss some of our main challenges and how we aim to turn them into great opportunities.


Why is this topic important to be speaking about?

I would like to raise the profile of Rural General Hospitals and of course in particular of the Belford.

People generally underestimate us or don’t take us seriously because little is known about what we do. I want to highlight the excellent opportunities our small size affords us. We have a great deal of autonomy and are a close knit team which enables us to provide great consultant led patient care.

Like most places we have been struggling with staff recruitment and retention though. I hope that by showing what an amazing place to work this is I can convince more colleagues to consider a career in a Rural General Hospital.


What are you looking forward to at Anaesthesia & Critical Care 2022?

This will be my third time at the ACC conference. I always enjoy the brilliant networking opportunities and I like to attend the hands-on training sessions. As the RCoA Airway Lead for the Belford Hospital I’m especially keen to attend the “Difficult Airway Management”- session.

I’m also very, very curious about the talk on Small Animal Anaesthesia!

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