The South West Regional Anaesthesia Group (SOWRA) was founded by Dr Barry Nicholls and Dr David Conn. The structure of the group was formalised in 2008 with the appointment of a governing board. It is currently run as a trust and is controlled by a governing board who oversee the running of the trust and the distribution of income. SOWRA was registered as a charity with the English Charity Commission in 2011 - our registration number is 1142538.

There is no formal membership structure.

We have a governing document which details how we will use our income to meet the objects of the group.

Current Trustees


  • Dr Iain Christie - Chairman 2011
  • Dr Roger Langford - Secretary 2011
  • Dr Kim Chishti - Treasurer - 2015

Ordinary Trustees

  • Dr Matt Oldman - Chairman (2008-2011) Treasurer (2011-2012)
  • Dr Tom Gale - Treasurer (2008-2011)
  • Dr Andy McEwen - Treasurer (2012-2015)

SOWRA's objects:

To protect and preserve health by the advancement of the standards and education in regional anaesthesia and pain management

In furtherance of this object the charity shall:

i) provide a forum for discussion

ii) encourage awareness of regional anaesthesia and pain management amongst the hospital and community medical and surgical practice.

iii) encourage awareness of regional anaesthesia and pain management amongst the general public.

iv) provide training and educational updates in regional anaesthesia and pain management techniques.

v) promote research for the public benefit in all areas of regional anaesthesia and pain management and to publish the useful results

Geographical limits of SOWRA

The geographical limits of SOWRA (the SOWRA Region) shall include Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset (Taunton to mark northern limit).

Governing structure

The SOWRA governing board will usually comprise of 6-7 trustees (current officers+previous officers +/- 1 other).

The usual duration of appointment for Trustees is 6 years.

In addition Trustees be appointed to undertake the following offices:

  • Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

The usual duration of appointment as an officer is 3 years.

After their appointment to the above offices has expired the outgoing officers will remain as ordinary trustees for a further period of 3 years before either standing down as a trustee or standing for reappointment.

After the 3 year period of office is up the chairman, secretary and treasurer may stand for reappointment to the same or another office for another 3 year period. If reappointed this will not extend their total time as a trustee beyond the usual 6 year duration, and they would be required to either step down as a trustee or stand for re-appointment as a trustee in 3 years time.

New Trustees will be appointed to replace the outgoing officers at the Annual Meeting at the end of the term of office. New trustees will usually (but not necessarily) be appointed to one of the vacant offices.

Other roles may be created if there is need.

If leaving the SOWRA region then Trustees will be expected to resign.

Appointment Process for Trustees

Appointment of trustees and board members will follow the following process.

  • Notification of vacancies will be given 1 month in advance of the annual general meeting.
  • Application by way of application form posted on SOWRA website.
  • Candidate to meet required person specification and eligibility criteria which will be published on the website.
  • Informal discussion by existing trustees with candidates.
  • Decision by trustees and announcement at annual general meeting.

Trustee Person specification and eligibility

  • Trustees of the charity should be permanent members of staff in an NHS institution within the SOWRA region (i.e Career Grade or Consultant)
  • Potential trustees should demonstrate an interest in regional anaesthesia.

Income and Expenditure

SOWRA funds shall be used to advance the groups objects:

This may include

  • Provision of equipment related to training in regional anaesthesia for use in NHS institutions in the SOWRA region.
  • Providing regional anaesthesia education and training within the SOWRA region.
  • Funding clinical and basic science research relating to regional anaesthesia within the SOWRA region.
  • Funding initiatives to raise the knowledge and awareness of regional anaesthesia amongst the general public.