Formed in 1990, the Age Anaesthesia Association is a collaboration of health professionals from anaesthetic, surgical and medical backgrounds, with the shared mission of attaining age-equal access to and improved outcomes for older people undergoing surgery.
Tanuja took time out to tell us about her journey to becoming the association's president, and suggests that young professionals willing to invest time and energy can achieve great things.
"To be President of this society is indeed an honour and privilege. Andrew Severn, now retired anaesthetist and past President supplied me with information on the society’s origins and thanks to their forward thinking back in the late 1980s, the work continues along the same trajectory.
Becoming President feels almost like an osmotic process, firstly with election to council, then my appointment as Honorary Secretary, and now President. However, I very clearly remember watching the President at the time, a number of years back giving a speech, and thinking ‘how does that happen?’ My answer now is get involved, and it can happen. All societies need interested, keen people willing to invest time and energy to further their cause. If that’s what interests you then there’s no reason that can’t be you".
Tanuja is proud of two projects in particular that the association has supported, which has led to improvement in patient care;
"In the last decade there have been two significant National Audit projects that have changed practise and improved patient care in a very tangible way – the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit and the National Hip Fracture Database. Age Anaesthesia has been a springboard for both of these and continues to support them".
Tanuja also suggests that colleagues at UHDB are benefitting from her new presidency;
"My day job at UHDB continues and I feel is enhanced by my role. I work on the Step Down Unit, emergency theatres and colorectal theatres primarily, all areas where perioperative care of the older person is key. Support from my department is crucial for these roles and I have always received backing from the wider department".