Dr Richard Fawcett
"Right now while you watch series 4 of 999 Critical condition I am once again deployed overseas with the British Army supporting the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. My role here is to support the UK Task Group as an Emergency Medicine consultant and deputy Clinical Director to the GMSG (Ground Manoeuvre Surgical Group) which is designed to meet the requirements of the Long Range Resonances Group who operate at reach for up to a month at a time in order to gather intelligence to help the UN better understand how to help the people of Mali. This highly mobile facility is designed to carry out Damage Control Resuscitation and Surgery in austere environments, with limited resources and personnel under very difficult conditions while remaining integrated into the task group while on patrol.
I joined the Army Reserves as a final year medical student in 2004 and since then have been fortunate enough to gain additional skills which I am able to utilise within my NHS role at UHNM. This includes 3 tours of Afghanistan, the first of which was in 2007 when I ran a Regimental Aid Post for an infantry unit on the front line and then later worked in the Role 2 Field Hospital. During my second tour in 2011, I was the Emergency Medicine Registrar in the joint UK-US Major Trauma Center in Camp Bastion and then for my final tour in 2013 I was the clinical lead on MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team) which involved flying in and resuscitating wounded soldiers off the battlefield back to Camp Bastion.
In addition to my role as an Emergency Medicine consultant and Trauma Team Leader at UHNM, I am also one of their Major Trauma consultants which enables me to follow the patient through the hospital and continue to co-ordinate their care long after they leave the department. I also hold a Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care (FIMC) and work as a pre-hospital consultant for the Midlands Air Ambulance. I have a teaching degree in Medical Education and sit on the faculty for the Royal College of Surgeons for the Diploma in Retrieval and Transfer Medicine in addition to teaching and directing multiple life/trauma support courses. Currently while on deployment I am able to utilise some of my skills from my MSc in Disaster Healthcare in the humanitarian space here in Mali to help those most vulnerable. I am also the Medical Director of 208 Field Hospital and the chair of the Scientific committee for the NATO organisation CIOMR.
UHNM offers a great working environment for both regular and reserve personnel who are able to bring additional expertise gained from working in situations outside that of the NHS that not only enhance patient care but can be shared with their non-military colleagues to improve their practice too. I have a great passion for the work I am fortunate enough to do at UHNM and since joining the team in 2015 I have been able to bear witness to the amazing work that my colleagues do for those patients who come through our doors. It is a real privilege to be able to be part of that team and an honour to be able to make a difference to those patients who come to us in their time of need. I love working with the people of Stoke-on-Trent as they are patient, resilient and appreciate the great hospital they have on their doorstep."