Top job for spinal expert

Posted on in Staff

A spinal expert from The James Cook University Hospital has been appointed to the NHS Commissioning Board as the national clinical director for spinal disorders.

Professor Charles Greenough, clinical director of spinal injuries at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was given the post by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh and will join the board along with 20 other appointed medical experts, with four posts still to be filled.


Professor Greenough said: “I’m very excited to be taking on this role. I can see a huge amount of things that can be done and I really hope it’s going to improve things for patients.”

The consultant has been with South Tees for 22 years, joining the trust in January of 1991. His new role is to:

  • Provide national clinical leadership for the commissioning of the care of adults and children with spinal disorders from primary care through to scheduled care and surgery
  • Lead on the development of guidance to support local commissioners and assist in the commissioning of specialised complex spinal surgery.

Professor Keogh said: “We have appointed high-calibre clinicians to all these posts, and they will play a key role in the development of clinically-led, patient-focussed care across all areas of the NHS.

“Our national clinical directors will provide the expert insight, knowledge and research we need in order to understand and address the challenges we face in all different aspects of the NHS.”

Professor Greenough will continue in his current role at South Tees and will work part-time at the board giving expert advice in his field.

He added: “This is an opportunity to get years of research and clinical expertise into the commissioning structure so that the commissioners are going to buy treatments for our patients that we think are going to be the most effective.”

The commissioning board will focus on how to restructure the NHS, driven by a new clinically-led commissioning system and a new network of clinical leaders, to improve quality outcomes for patients and transform the NHS.

The appointments are an effort to reinforce the reconstructed NHS ideals of keeping “clinical leadership at its heart” making decisions based on the “very best possible clinical evidence and expert advice.”

Professor Greenough added: “For many years doctors and nurses have thought that if only they had more input into commissioning, things would be much improved. I think that the Commissioning Board can now take the consensus that doctors, nurses and therapists have about patient management and put that into practice so that the contracts will be measured against the specifications of therapies that doctors and other professionals recommend.”