The highly-regarded PHEA course teaches the delivery of advanced airway and critical care skills in the pre-hospital environment.

This bespoke training course, delivered by senior operational HEMS doctors and paramedics, places emphasis on multidisciplinary team working, proper decision making and robust governance procedures in delivering pre-hospital anaesthesia.

Course Length

2 days


2024 dates coming soon

Course fees


PHEA 2024

Our two-day Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia course is for professionals working in healthcare, including doctors, paramedics and nurses.

You will learn how to safely anaesthetise a patient in the pre-hospital environment through a combination of classroom and realistic scenario-based training.

There is a strong practical element to the course culminating in the final day of outdoor ‘moulages’ – simulated scenarios working with 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 comprises senior doctors and paramedics who work in the field in both civilian and military settings.

Key to the past success of the PHEA course is the ability of candidates to tap into this considerable experience. The faculty remains 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 course is held at the Great North Air Ambulance Service headquarters, Progress House, at Eaglescliffe in Stockton-on-Tees.

Once registered, you will receive access to resources, including standard operating procedures related to the course.

Course Background

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 renameo the Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia course (in line with national guidance) in 2018.

In its fifteenth 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). More than 450 doctors and paramedics worldwide have now been trained by the GNAAS faculty in the art and science of delivering cutting-edge pre-hospital critical care.


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 get in touch by emailing

  • 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 do not 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 with pre-hospital experience (eg. BASICs/HEMS) looking to gain familiarity or upskill with RSI techniques.

2023 Dates

Dates for the 2024 PHEA Course will be announced shortly.

The course costs £700.

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, provided applicants meet the course criteria. Payment will be taken in the application process.

If for any reason your application is unsuccessful, you will receive a full refund.

Apply for the PHEA course

PHEA - March 2023

The March PHEA is sold out.

PHEA - October 2023

The October PHEA is sold out.

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