Sharing the art and science of delivering cutting edge pre-hospital care.


The Great North Air Ambulance has been delivering advanced pre-hospital critical care interventions since the introduction of doctor-paramedic trauma teams in 2004. As early-adopters of this model of care, GNAAS quickly recognised the importance of proper training and governance if pre-hospital anaesthesia was to be delivered safely. If GNAAS wanted to continue training the doctors and paramedics of the future, they would need to design a bespoke training package emphasising the importance of multidisciplinary team working, proper decision making and robust governance procedures. After more than 12 months in development, the first Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia (PHEA) course was run in March 2007 and subsequently renamed to the Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia course (in line with national guidance) in 2018.

Now in its eleventh year, the PHEA course has gone from strength to strength. In 2010, the original course manual was adapted into a published paperback, the Pre-Hospital Anesthesia Handbook which is now in its second edition (independently reviewed here). September 2017 marked the 25th sitting of the PHEA course. Almost 400 doctors and paramedics across the world have now been trained by the GNAAS faculty in the art and science of delivering cutting-edge prehospital critical care.

Course content

The two day PHEA course is aimed at doctors, paramedics and nurses, and uses a combination of classroom and realistic scenario-based training. There is a strong practical element to the course throughout, culminating in final day outdoor ‘moulages’ – simulated scenarios working with both ambulance and fire and rescue services.

Topics covered include:

  • Decision making processes and safety standards
  • Preparation, “kit-dump” and checklists
  • Human performance and CRM
  • Drug and equipment familiarity
  • Post-intubation management
  • Adverse event management and failed intubation drills

At the heart of the course is the instructor faculty, which is made up of senior doctors and paramedics, all of whom work in this field in both the civilian and military settings. Key to the past success of the PHA course is the ability for candidates to tap into this considerable experience. The faculty remain present throughout the course and are friendly and approachable.

The Great North Air Ambulance and the PHEA Faculty fully endorse the AAGBI guidelines on the safe conduct of pre-hospital anaesthesia.



The PHEA course teaches the delivery of advanced airway and critical care skills in the pre-hospital environment. It is assumed that candidates will already be familiar with aspects of basic trauma care/resuscitation, and should be accustomed to scenario-based learning. These eligibility recommendations are for guidance only. If in doubt, please send us your no-obligation application form and our training team will be in touch.

  • Doctors in PHEM training (UK) or equivalent programmes
  • Junior doctors working towards PHEM training application in the future
  • Experienced pre-hospital doctors looking to develop skills and confidence with PHEA
  • Experienced Emergency Medicine or Anaesthetic doctors who don’t currently work in the prehospital environment
  • Qualified paramedics – whether just wanting to gain familiarity with PHEA techniques, or for those looking to upskill for a particular role (CCPs, Trauma, HART, HEMS)
  • Nurses who already have pre-hospital experience (eg. BASICs/HEMS) looking to gain familiarity or upskill with RSI techniques.


Venue, dates and cost

The PHEA course is held at a purpose-designed fire and rescue training centre in County Durham, North East England. 2019 course dates:

  • 14th/15th March 2019
  • 10th/11th June 2019
  • 6th/7th September 2019

The following costs include the 2-day course including lunch, the course dinner and a copy of the Pre-Hospital Anesthesia Handbook

  • Doctors – £480
  • Paramedic/Nurse – £295

Please read our course booking terms and conditions before applying.


Terms & Conditions


Applications for our 2019 courses are now open.

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