A deputy medical director at a Midlands hospital trust has had the honour of being invited as the UK representative to give the World Health Organisation (WHO) his expert opinion on emergency care and how standards can be improved internationally.
Professor Matthew Cooke, director of strategy and deputy medical director at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals, travelled to WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland this week to join a 24-strong working group consisting of health experts from across the globe.
Professor Cooke, formerly the Department of Health’s ‘czar’ for emergency care, was chosen as the UK’s representative on the group because of his research looking at the design of emergency care systems and his international advisory work on improving emergency care.
He said: “I feel hugely honoured to be representing the UK on an international level at the WHO with some extremely accomplished and passionate healthcare professionals from across the world. I believe together we can really do some great work.
“At our first meeting we discussed the priorities for improving emergency healthcare worldwide, ranging from having a single emergency call number in each country linked to an ambulance service, to the levels of training of staff working in hospital emergency units.
“The work will continue until the WHO assembly makes a formal resolution in a couple of years following recommendations from the working group and I look forward to using my expertise developed from working in the UK’s healthcare system for many years to help improve safety and quality in patient care across the world.”
Professor Cooke, from Solihull, is also the professor of emergency medicine at the University of Warwick alongside his clinical role and in 2013 and 2014 was named in the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Top 100 Clinical Leaders list.