Dr Phil Cowburn MBE BSc (Hons) MBChB FRCS FRCEM DipIMC

Phil is a consultant in Emergency Medicine working at both Acute Trusts in Bristol; Bristol Royal Infirmary and North Bristol NHS Trust, the regional Major Trauma Centre. He completed his Emergency Medicine accreditation in 2008 and has additional training in surgical specialities, anaesthesia and intensive care medicine.

He has been active in prehospital care since 2004 and was one of the founding members of Great Western Air Ambulance in 2007, becoming medical director for the service from 2011-2015. He remains clinically active with the team delivering prehospital critical care on the helicopter and response car.

He has held medical directorate roles within NHS Ambulance Trusts for over a decade and is currently the Acute Care Medical Director for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), providing clinical leadership to support enhanced and critical care within the Trust. This includes major trauma, resuscitation, Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART), Major Incident response plus advanced and specialist practice in critical care.

His ethos is to develop well-governed systems that provide seamless care for critically ill or injured patients from the point of first contact through to definitive care. To facilitate this he has a passion for advancing clinical practice in multidisciplinary teams believing this should be competency based practice, rather than defined by professional background. This has resulted in the creation of an extended clinical skills package for HART paramedics and innovation of specialist and advanced clinical practice for critical care practitioners in SWASFT.

He was appointed as Medical Advisor to the National Ambulance Resilience Unit in 2021 and is actively involved in clinical development and education with the team. His key areas of interest include clinical decision making in high stress environments, Major Incident management, particularly triage, prehospital emergency anaesthesia and Acute Behavioural Disturbance. In addition to these roles he provides clinical governance and medical advice to regional police specialist units and Fire Rescue Services, and is the civilian ambulance advisor to UK military prehospital care board.

He is an examiner for the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care (Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh) and maintains a strong educational commitment on a number of national and international courses.

Phil was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Years Honours list for services to Emergency Medicine and prehospital care. In his limited spare time he enjoys expanding his culinary prowess and foraging for wild food around his Gloucestershire home.

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