Professor Alan Forbes Merry



Alan Merry practises anaesthesia and chronic pain management at Auckland City Hospital, and is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. He is a former Councillor of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and former Chair of the Board of the NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.  He is on the Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, and of Lifebox, an international charitable initiative to improve standards of surgery and anaesthesia in low income areas of the world. His books, book chapters and papers in peer reviewed journals reflect interests in human factors, patient safety and simulation. He established the spinal cord stimulation service within the Auckland Regional Pain Service, and has a particular interest in using spinal cord stimulation to manage chronic intractable angina pectoris.

Research | Current

Patient safety, medication error in anaesthesia, quality of healthcare, teamwork, simulation, WHO Safe Surgery Checklist, surgical site Infection

Teaching | Current

Anaesthesiology, quality and safety in healthcare

Postgraduate supervision

Areas suitable for supervised postgraduate study include safety and quality of healthcare, medication error, simulation in anaesthesia and surgery, ethics and legal aspects of medical practice, and various aspects of anaesthesia and chronic pain management.


ONZM FRSNZ FRCA FFLFM Honorary Member of ASA and AAGBI, Life Member NZSA


Head of School of Medicine

Areas of expertise

Anaesthesia, pain medicine, patient safety, quality of healthcare, spinal cord stimulation

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Chair Health Quality and Safety Commission

Councillor, ANZCA

Board member, Lifebox

Assistant Treasurer, WFSA

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Merry, A. F., Hannam, J. A., Webster, C. S., Edwards, K. E., Torrie, J., Frampton, C., ... Evley, R. (2017). Retesting the hypothesis of a clinical randomized controlled trial in a simulation environment to validate anesthesia simulation in error research (the VASER Study). Anesthesiology, 126 (3), 472-481. 10.1097/aln.0000000000001514
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Weller, Jacqueline Hannam, Craig Webster, Jane Torrie
  • Merry, A. F., Webster, C. S., Hannam, J., Mitchell, S. J., Henderson, R., Reid, P., ... Cooper, J. (2011). Multimodal system designed to reduce errors in recording and administration of drugs in anaesthesia: prospective randomised clinical evaluation. BMJ, 343 (sep22 1), d5543-d5543. 10.1136/bmj.d5543
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Craig Webster, Papaarangi Reid, Simon Mitchell, Jacqueline Hannam
  • Haynes, A. B., Weiser, T. G., Berry, W. R., Lipsitz, S. R., Breizat, A.-H. S., Dellinger, E. P., ... Lapitan, M. C. M. (2011). Changes in safety attitude and relationship to decreased postoperative morbidity and mortality following implementation of a checklist-based surgical safety intervention. BMJ Quality & Safety, 20 (1), 102-107. 10.1136/bmjqs.2009.040022
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Mitchell
  • Funk, L. M., Weiser, T. G., Berry, W. R., Lipsitz, S. R., Merry, A. F., Enright, A. C., ... Gawande, A. A. (2010). Global operating theatre distribution and pulse oximetry supply: an estimation from reported data. The Lancet, 376 (9746), 1055-1061. 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60392-3
  • Ong, C. K., Seymour, R. A., Lirk, P., & Merry, A. F. (2010). Combining Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) with Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs: A Qualitative Systematic Review of Analgesic Efficacy for Acute Postoperative Pain. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 110 (4), 1170-1179. 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181cf9281
  • Cumin, D., Weller, J. M., Henderson, K. M., & Merry, A. F. (2010). Standards for simulation in anaesthesia: creating confidence in the tools. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 105 (1), 45-51. 10.1093/bja/aeq095
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Weller, Kaylene Henderson, David Cumin
  • Weiser, T. G., Makary, M. A., Haynes, A. B., Dziekan, G., Berry, W. R., Gawande, A. A., ... Ko, C. Y. (2009). Standardised metrics for global surgical surveillance. The Lancet, 374 (9695), 1113-1117. 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61161-2
  • Walker, I. A., Merry, A. F., Wilson, I. H., McHugh, G. A., O'Sullivan E, Thoms, G. M., ... Whitaker, D. K. (2009). Global Oximetry: an international anaesthesia quality improvement project. Anaesthesia, 64 (10), 1051-1060. 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2009.06067.x


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 503 - Bldg 503
Level 1, Room 102
New Zealand

Web links