In the mid 1930s, Sir Farquhar Buzzard, Regius Professor of Medicine, wished Oxford to have a Centre for Postgraduate Medicine with chairs of medicine, surgery, and gynaecology and obstetrics. Lord Nuffield offered a donation of £1,250,000. During a casual conversation with Lord Nuffield at the Huntercombe Golf Club, Dr Robert Reynold Macintosh, a very successful London anaesthetist, remarked: “I see they have forgotten anaesthetics again”. Lord Nuffield decided that a chair of anaesthetics should be added as part of his benefaction. The University of Oxford did not regard anaesthetics as an academic subject, but finally relented. Lord Nuffield then announced that he had increased his benefaction to £ 2M (worth £130M today). Lord Nuffield wanted Dr Macintosh to be the Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetics, and head of the first independent department of anaesthesia in the UK, in Europe, and in the Commonwealth.

Professor Pierre Foex