Patients will be randomised to one of the trial groups using computer-generated random number tables. Numbers ending in an even number integer will be designated to receive an ESP block; odd numbers will be allocated to the control group. The patient study number and group allocation will be typed on separate pages, folded and concealed in sequentially numbered sealed opaque envelopes. Block randomisation in groups of 6 will be applied to ensure an even number in each group as the study progresses. The groups will be named “ESP” erector spinae plane and “control”. A randomisation key will be held by an independent third party. Investigators will not have access to the randomisation key until all data is collected.

After induction of general anaesthesia, the envelope will be opened by the treating anaesthesiologist to reveal the group allocation. The investigators, patients and researchers involved in data collection will be masked to group allocation. The attending anaesthesiologist will not be blinded to the group allocation. Group allocation will be revealed immediately if deemed clinically necessary, for example, if a concern regarding local anaesthetic toxicity arises.

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