Leading doctors from across the country have been appointed to five new clinical director roles to help advise the NHS medical director on post-covid challenges.
The five new clinical leads will cover urgent and emergency care, elective care and long covid, and advise medical director Stephen Powis and programme teams working to improve services for patients in the specific areas.
Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare Trust and North West London Integrated Care Partnership, has been appointed national clinical director for urgent and emergency care and will be responsible for helping improve 999, 111 and other urgent care services as emergency care faces record levels of pressure. He replaces interim lead Dan Boden, who stepped into the role following the death of Cliff Mann earlier this year.
Stella Vig, a consultant in vascular and general surgery and director of elective recovery at Croydon Health Services Trust, and Ian Eardley, a consultant urological surgeon in Leeds, have been jointly appointed to advise on elective care.
The NHS has also appointed its first national speciality advisers for long covid. These roles have been created to help the NHS meet demand for ongoing care for people suffering long-term covid effects.
Melissa Heightman, a respiratory consultant, clinical lead for the post-covid clinic at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust and deputy clinical divisional director for medical specialties at UCLH, and Graham Burns, a consultant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and president of the British Thoracic Society, have both been appointed to these new roles.
They will work alongside GP Kiren Collison, the long covid taskforce chair.
Professor Powis said: “As the NHS works hard to tackle the covid backlog for non-urgent care, safely treat all those needing urgent and emergency care, and address the new challenge of long covid, I am delighted to welcome five senior clinicians to help lead this vital work.
“All of my new colleagues bring with them a wealth of experience and a strong track record of leading improvements in care and treatment for patients at a national level, and I know they are all eager to build on this in their new roles.”