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.