Researchers are contacting patients who have undergone surgery at UCLH NHS Foundation Trust in 2022, who were not previously taking opioid medication and who were discharged home with opioid medications.

Why is the research being carried out?

Opioids (strong painkiller medications) are often used after surgery because pain often happens and not treating it can be unpleasant and can lead to delays in their recovery or other complications. 

Some people can find it difficult to stop using opioids once they have started for various reasons. This may be because they continue to experience pain or because they have become dependent on these medications, for example.  Continuing to take opioids long-term can lead to many negative health effects.

What does the research study aim to do?

The researchers will send information about the study by email to patients approximately 3 months after they were discharged to invite them to take part in the study. They will follow this up with a telephone call to confirm whether the patients want to take part.

Patients who choose to take part in the study will be invited to participate in telephone interviews lasting between 30 minutes to one hour, during which they will be asked questions about their pain, medication use after surgery and support received from the healthcare system.

The findings of this study will allow the team to make recommendations regarding the advice, follow-up and support given to patients discharged with opioids following surgery.

Is patient information being collected or used by researchers before patients choose to take part in the study?

Patients who meet the study criteria will be identified by a computer programme which will automatically search for their names and contact details in our electronic patient record system.  The computer programme will produce a contact list with names, email addresses and telephone numbers. No other personal information or information regarding any aspect of clinical care will be available or visible to researchers or anyone else involved in this research. If patients cannot be contacted, or choose not to take part in the study, their names and contact details will be permanently deleted from the research contact list. No aspect of the care they receive will be affected by this decision.

YOU CAN OPT OUT: Please contact Dr Fausto Morell-Ducos, who is one of the researchers, by email at, by telephone at 020 3448 4776, or by post at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Cleveland Street

25 Cleveland Street, W1T 4AJ if you DO NOT want researchers to contact you and your name will be excluded from the automatic computer search used to generate the contact list. Opting out WILL NOT affect any of your future care.


The national data opt-out service allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning. If you have previously chosen for your data not to be used in NHS research, you will not be contacted to be invited to take part in this study.


Please click here for a more detailed explanation of the research project.

P03 theatres 

The P03 theatre suite comprises of 12 operating theatres and is located on podium level 3 of University College Hospital. The P03 Facility includes:

· Dedicated adult receiving and recovery areas

· Dedicated paediatric receiving and recovery areas

The department consists of 200 theatre practitioners, 50 theatre support assistants, and dedicated play specialists. A dedicated admin & management team support the clinical teams in delivering peri-operative care for over 400 programmed service activities each week.

Our clinical work is varied and complex and we are a major centre for head & neck and upper GI cancer surgery. Other specialties we service include obstetrics, colorectal surgery, vascular surgery, bariatric surgery, trauma & orthopaedics, gynaecology, breast surgery, urology, paediatric surgery including specialist ENT, maxillofacial and oral surgery. We also provide support to areas outside the theatre complex which includes imaging, endoscopy, brachytherapy and radiotherapy.

T02 theatres 

The T02 theatre suite comprises of three operating theatres and is located on tower level 2 of University College Hospital.

The T02 complex incorporates the hybrid theatre which is a specially designed facility used to support complex vascular surgery together with a dedicated NCEPOD theatre which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is also a second emergency theatre available 08:30-19:00 Monday – Friday and 08:30-16:30 on a Saturday.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) theatres 

There are two theatres located on the EGA site. One theatre is for emergency use and is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The other theatre is used for women undergoing birth by caesarean section and treats in the region of 1200 clients per year. There is also a four-bedded close observation bay where clients are recovered post-surgery, prior to going to the ward.

Macmillan Cancer Centre (MCC) theatres

There is one theatre and one procedure room based at the Macmillan Cancer Centre. The theatre and procedure room are an integral part of the patient pathway for men with prostate cancer and also for adolescents undergoing chemotherapy regimes.

Grafton Way Building (GWB) theatres 

The newest and most exciting addition to the University College Hospital theatres estate is the brand new Grafton Way Building. This houses eight state of the art operating theatres and incorporates a 36-bedded surgical reception unit/recovery area. There is also a dedicated treatment room which is designed for use by the specialist ENT teams.

GWB theatres will also play a key role in delivering the North Central London orthopaedic hub agenda offering patients more choice in where their care is delivered.

The theatres & anaesthetics division has three core aims:

· To deliver excellent clinical care

· To deliver the highest standards of education and training

· To support world class research in surgery and perioperative medicine.

There is a dedicated theatre education team that aims to support the training and development needs of all staff and learners within the division. Our ethos is to ensure that the staff have fair and equal access to various learning opportunities, and to support their career growth within UCLH and the National Health Service as a whole.

The team has been working closely with the different universities such as London Southbank University (LSBU) and City University, as well as the corporate practice education team to support pre-registration nurses and midwives. The team also supports the operating department practitioner programme and the various apprenticeship opportunities from Bands 1-4.

There is a well-established structure within the department for supporting international nurses to gain their UK qualification, and beyond that, helping them integrate into UCLH more widely alongside other new starters through the team’s involvement in the preceptorship programme. The team also form part of the faculty for the different simulation courses being delivered by UCLH's Education Centre, which offers opportunities to train and work alongside other professional groups, such as medicine and surgery.

The UCLH theatre education team is one of the leading stakeholders on pan-London projects to provide continuous professional development for all staff through programs such as the qualification in specialism (QIS) in partnership with capital nurse and the advanced postoperative care training programme for recovery nurses, which runs in collaboration with the anaesthetics department.

Within the department, the team leads on the creating various learning opportunities in all specialities, including the re-establishment of robotic services for colo-rectal, head and neck and gynaecology, and the newly opened Grafton Way Building, which will be the main site for the expansion of orthopaedic services to include robotic arthroplasty; ENT cases; as well as being one of two proton beam centres in the country.

Theatres & Anaesthetics
University College Hospital
Podium Level 3
235 Euston Road
London, NW1 2BU

General enquiries 
Telephone: 020 3447 3328

Divisional clinical director – Dr Viki Mitchell
Telephone: 020 3447 3361

Divisional manager – Oscar Fernandez-Saborit
Telephone: 020 3447 3357

Matron – Alvaro Tabora
Telephone: 020 3447 3347

Clinical lead – Dr James Holding
Telephone: 020 3447 3362

General manager - Maj Mutch
Telephone: 020 3447 3348