Tom Potokar is Chair of the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research at Swansea University. His work through this newly established centre will build on his research interests in implementation science, systems development, quality improvement, participatory action research, outcomes research, impact evaluation and   strategy development.

As Founder and Director of Interburns Tom has led the development of a comprehensive integrated approach to capacity building and quality improvement in burn care in resource poor environments. This incorporates setting standards for burns services in low resource environments, developing assessment tools to identify gaps in service delivery and outcomes, and a portfolio of educational and training resources. These have been successfully delivered in a number of countries in Africa and Asia.

He also works part time as a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery where his main practice is acute and reconstructive burn surgery.  He trained in plastic surgery in Bristol, Cambridge, Liverpool and New Zealand as well as training in anaesthetics (DA) and tropical medicine (DTM&H) prior to this.

Before qualifying in plastic surgery, Tom worked with Médecins Sans Frontières in Cambodia, Tadzikistan, Bosnia and Rwanda, as well as training in general surgery in Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, South Africa. He works closely with WHO and was on the consultation group that produced the WHO Plan for Burn Prevention and Care (2008), and contributor to the WHO Plan for Burn Prevention and Care booklet (2008) as well as being an active member of the WHO Global Alliance for Care of the Injured (GACI) where he leads the education and capacity building work group, and the WHO Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC)

Tom is a member of the British Burn Association, European Burn Association, European Club for Paediatric Burns, Pan African Burns Society, Nepalese Burns Society, International Society for Burn Injuries  and elected honorary member of the South Africa Burns Association He has led numerous training and development  programs in many low and middle income countries and presented on training and education in burns and bridging the knowledge to action gap in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has over thirty papers in peer reviewed journals, several book chapters and is a regular reviewer for the Burns Journal and JPRAS. He has visited over fifty countries, and many burns facilities of all shapes and sizes and been involved in supporting the development of burns services from MOH level to individual service level for over 15 years.

Publications

  1. & Justification for a Nuclear Global Health Workforce: multidisciplinary analysis of risk, survivability & preparedness, with emphasis on the triage management of thermal burns. Conflict and Health 11(1)
  2. & Use of dermal regeneration templates in a low resource environment. Scars, Burns & Healing 2, 205951311667279

Teaching

  • SHQM40 Social, Cultural and Economic Context of Health

    In this compulsory module students will develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the wider context of health care management. The social, cultural and economic context within which health and illness are defined and experienced and how these impact and influence the organisation and financing of health care and health systems will be critically explored.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Associate Clinical Director - ABMU Health Board

    2012 - 2015

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2004 Present Consultant Burns & Plastic Surgeon ABMU Health Board
1990 1996 Volunteer Medical Coordinator Medecins Sans Frontieres

External Responsibilities

  • Director , Interburns (Training, Education & Research in Burns)

    2006 - Present

  • Lead for Education & Capacity Building, Global Alliance for Care of the Injured

    2016 - Present

  • Consultation Group on Burn Care & Prevention, World Health Organisation

    2007 - 2008

Key Grants and Projects

  • Improving clinical outcomes for 10,000 burn patients in Bangladesh and Nepal by implementing improved standards of burn care 2013 - 2016

    , Global Poverty Action Fund (DfiD)

  • Reducing mortality and morbidity from burn injuries by transforming national programmes of burn care and prevention in Bangladesh and Nepal 2016 - 2019

    , UK Aid Direct Community Partnership Fund

  • Improving burn care and prevention in Ghana (2014-5), Improving national burn care and prevention in Ghana (2015-6) 2015 - 2016

    , Wales for Africa (Welsh Govt)