NAP8: Complications of Regional Anaesthesia

Published: 19/03/2024

We are pleased to announce that the topic of the RCoA’s 8th National Audit Project (NAP8) will be complications of regional anaesthesia (peripheral blocks and central neuraxial blockade) and other neurological complications of anaesthesia. 

Around 1 in 4 anaesthetics involve peripheral regional or central neuraxial block in some form. The NAP8 case registry will focus on the major complications of peripheral regional and central neuraxial anaesthesia and analgesia. The team will also conduct an activity survey to collect information around neurological complications associated with general anaesthesia.  

The NAP8 topic was ratified by the College’s Clinical Quality and Research Board following selection by a panel including senior clinicians from our Centre for Research and Improvement (CR&I), and trainee and lay representatives. The selection process was highly competitive, and we thank everyone who responded to the call for proposals and those who made presentations to the panel, all of which were very high quality.  

While major complications of central neuraxial blocks was the subject of the College’s 3rd National Audit Project in 2009 (NAP3), there have since been changes in both practice and patient characteristics.  

Professor Iain Moppett, Director of the Centre for Research & Improvement at the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:  

“NAP8 will be a fantastic opportunity to understand more about the complications of regional anaesthesia which is such a significant part of contemporary anaesthetic practice. This is a topic that is clearly of great interest to anaesthetists and our patients.  

“Previous NAPs have been influential both in the UK and across the world thanks to all the hard work of anaesthetists across the four nations. We hope that NAP8 will build on that success to help us provide even better, patient-centred care in the future. 

Dr Fiona Donald, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:  

“The College’s National Audit Projects drive improvements in anaesthetic practice and patient care. Their extensive reach and impact is due to the participation of so many of our members, whether that’s through volunteering to help coordinate and collect data at a local level, completing surveys or implementing recommendations. 

“Anaesthesia in the UK is very safe and regional anaesthesia is no exception. But complications do arise and the more we understand them, the better equipped we are to improve patient outcomes.” 

Next steps 

We will advertise for a clinical lead for NAP8 in April/May and will keep members updated via President’s News, the Bulletin and on our social media channels. In the meantime, please direct any queries to