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About the Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network

The Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network was established to design and promote initiatives to improve patient care across anaesthetic and perioperative services in NSW. The Network aims to build strong collaborative relationships with clinicians, consumers, other health pillars and the Local Health Districts.

Anaesthesia Services

Anaesthesia services are essential to acute care hospitals and are also critical to important aspects of pre-hospital care and disaster responses.

Patient services that involve key input from the specialty of anaesthesia include surgery, procedures, acute and chronic pain management, high dependency, intensive care and medical retrieval.

There are increasing demands being placed on anaesthesia services providing perioperative care in the NSW Health system.

A Definition of General Anaesthesia

A reversible, drug induced period of unconsciousness where all your sensations including pain are absent, you have no awareness of your surroundings and during which your anaesthetist constantly monitors and maintains your normal function(s).

Our People

Dr Richard Halliwell

Dr Richard Halliwell, Co-Chair
Westmead Hospital
Western Sydney Local Health District

Dr Arpit Srivastava

Dr Arpit Srivastava, Co-Chair
Royal North Shore Hospital
Northern Sydney Local Health District

Ms Deborah Burrows

Ms Deborah Burrows, Co-Chair
District Clinical Nurse Consultant Perioperative Services
Southern NSW Local Health District

The ACI Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network is led by an executive committee, which includes doctors, nurses, allied health staff, managers and consumers. 

The network has more than 100 members and includes clinicians, consumers and representatives from Local Health Districts, health pillars and the NSW Ministry of Health.


The ACI Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network was established in late 2009 in recognition of the important roles anaesthesia and perioperative care play in a patient’s journey.


  • To support the delivery of effective patient care.
  • To be driven by patient, family and carer experiences.
  • To address equity of access and outcome issues and determine priority areas for anaesthesia and perioperative services across NSW, in collaboration with Local Health Districts.

As well as the over-riding priorities the ACI Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network’s Executive focuses on key areas of importance including:

  • Implementation of the Minimum Standards for Safe Procedural Sedation.
  • Advising on key perioperative principles to support the patient and carer throughout the whole surgical and/or procedural journey.
  • Advising NSW Health on minimum requirements for safe sedation.
  • Supporting standardisation of competencies for the anaesthetic assistant.

The Network is also exploring possible initiatives relating to green and sustainable operating theatres, extended recovery models of care and supporting the safe removal of central lines.


Minimum Standards for Safe Sedation

The Perioperative Network released a toolkit on the Minimum Standards for Safe Procedural Sedation. The Safe Procedural Sedation Project Resources page provides examples of procedural sedation resources already in use by specialty units across NSW public hospitals.

Patient and Carer Project Resources

The APC Network commenced a project to discover more about patient, carer and clinician experiences of surgery requiring general anaesthesia for the purpose of developing resources to improve the perioperative experience.

Patients, families and carers from across NSW were invited to participate, including people from rural and remote areas, non-English speaking backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Clinicians involved in delivering perioperative services also participated. The interviews formed the basis of short stories which were developed by the participants and the project team including reflective questions rafted based on each experience.

Patient and Carers and Clinician Storybook’s are the resultant publications capturing the experiences of the participants and these resources are now available on the ACI website.

Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network


Helen Badge
Anaesthesia & Perioperative Care A/Network Manager