A consultant at a Birmingham hospital, which was shamed for breaching A&E waiting times, has been appointed as the country’s new national clinical director for urgent and emergency care.
Professor Matthew Cooke, an emergency medicine specialist at Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, will replace Sir George Alberti.
The Department of Health plans for Prof Cooke to use his expertise to further improve the quality and safety of emergency care nationally.
But the move comes as Heart of England Foundation Trust, running Heartlands, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield’s Good Hope A&Es, is under the supervision of overseeing body Monitor for failing to see enough patients within the four-hour target for the second winter running.
Troubleshooters have been sent into the trust to turn the situation round as it faces losing its Foundation status if it continues to fail.
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, said Prof Cooke had boosted Heartlands A&E’s services and research.
“This important leadership post will be instrumental in supporting and engaging clinicians in the delivery of high quality urgent and emergency care services for patients in England,” said Prof Keogh. “Prof Cooke brings extensive experience in urgent and emergency care, both as a clinician and academic, and I have no doubt that he will work effectively as the Department’s professional interface with the emergency care community and other key stakeholders.
Prof Cooke, who lives in Solihull, is nationally recognised for his expertise in emergency care systems and processes.