Sunday, May 1, 2011

About me

I'm a consultant intensivist working for the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, mostly at the University Hospital of Wales but now occasionally at University Hospital Llandough. Originally I come from Pontypridd, I went to medical school in Cardiff. After working as a trainee in Pontypridd, Neath, Swansea, Bristol, Cardiff, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Wolverhampton, I came back to Cardiff as a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care in August 1996. For a while I did a little private practice in anaesthetics but the financial rewards simply didn't justify the effort involved, besides which the whole private practice scene I think is just a bit grubby. The independent hospital sector just seems to cream off the straightforward elective cases, leaving the NHS to deal with the emergencies, difficult cases and patients with multiple co-morbidities. In other words, all the cases that are more costly to look after. Having said that, I don't think that I would want to be a patient in an independent hospital except for anything other than a very simple operation.
In August 2004 I gave up anaesthesia to work full time in intensive care. Developments in the speciality of Intensive Care meant that it was getting impossible to keep up to date with two increasingly separate specialities and, frankly, I was bored with the anaesthesia side of things. Some doctors think that anyone wanting to work full-time in intensive care must be mad - after all, you have no escape route back to a parent speciality. I used to think that way, but with the ICU at UHW growing and with other colleagues moving into full-time intensive care it became obvious to me that full-time intensive care was not only a viable proposition but an essential career move. Since then I can honestly say I've not missed the anaesthesia one bit.
I've been a Council member of the Welsh Intensive Care Society (WICS) since June 2009 and I will be taking up the role of WICS secretary at the summer scientific meeting in late June this year. I am also Group Lead for Transfer and Transport of Critically Ill Patients for the South East Wales Critical Care Network. More recently, I've taken up the role of Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board. I share this role with another one of my consultant colleagues.
What else is there to say? Married, 3 children and a dog. Enter the National Lottery every week - fail to win the jackpot every wee :-(  I have a warped sense of humour. I'm an armchair sports fan - rugby union mainly, but I'm not averse to a bit of football, cricket, snooker, tennis. Of these, the only one I've ever been remotely good at is cricket  - I can't bat for toffee but I used to be an OK bowler of off-spin or medium pace seam/swing bowling.
So that's me! I'll be blogging about things I feel passionately about. I may not always make sense and no doubt there will be many who disagree with my views. Should anyone feel moved to do so, comments and critical debate will be welcomed but abuse will not be tolerated.