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NHS gets new tzar to improve trauma and orthopaedics services

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The Department of Health has announced the appointment of a new 'trauma tsar'. Nursing Times revealed in October that the government was to create the post.

Keith Willet, professor of trauma and orthopaedic surgery at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital and chair of the British Orthopaedic Association’s trauma committee, will take up post as the government's new national clinical director for trauma care in April.

He will lead in the development of national clinical policy for trauma care including the implementation of recommendations agreed in the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) report.

The Department of Health created the post in response to a critical report on NHS trauma services, published by the Royal College of Surgeons and British Orthopaedic Association in September when a DH spokesperson told Nursing Times that the government recognised that ‘trauma services fall short of what should be expected’.

The report concluded that the NHS was failing to provide adequate care for trauma patients because of the pressure of conflicting targets.

Announcing Professor Willett’s appointment health secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘Trauma care needs to be recognised as a specialist form of medicine. With this appointment today, we will see further improvements in the planning of trauma services and more specialist trauma centres.’

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