Tim Wigmore with colleagues

My role at The Royal Marsden is unique. Not only do I hold the position of Associate Medical Director, I am also a Consultant Anaesthetist and an Intensivist in the Critical Care Unit (CCU). I rotate my clinical roles and devote part of every week to my management-related tasks.

In my role as Associate Medical Director, I facilitate the day-to-day running of the medical services across the Trust, mainly covering clinical services at Chelsea. I focus predominantly on surgical and critical care, but I’m also closely involved in nuclear medicine, anaesthetics, palliative care, radiology, the pain service, pharmacy and outpatients. Dr Mike Potter is the other Associate Medical Director and mainly covers our Sutton services, although there is a lot of crossover between us.

There is a large strategic element to my role. I strive for the best outcomes for patients and efficient services to treat as many patients as possible, as well as ensuring best practice is followed now and in the future.

Implementing strategies

I am also the Clinical Information Officer for the Trust. Again, my involvement is strategic: setting priorities for projects and working with our IT experts to make our IT services fit for purpose over the next decade. I’ve recently been looking at how to move our Electronic Patient Record to a more sustainable model, and have been visiting other hospitals and institutions to gain some further insights.

I’m especially interested in developments in mobile devices and how they can make the patient experience better by making life easier for both them and our staff. For example, we are going to be trialling a new app for patients in our pre-assessment centre. Using their smartphone or tablet, patients will be alerted to their next appointment and shown how to get there.

Clinical work

Alongside my management duties, I spend one week in six in our CCU, where I am either present or on-call 24/7 for the seven days. The system works well as it provides continuity of care for patients, so I get to know them and their families during that time. It can be tiring, but it’s an excellent way of delivering care. On a Monday, there is a multidisciplinary team meeting with colleagues from the Intensive Care Unit and other services to ensure that our patients are getting the best treatment.

As a Consultant Anaesthetist, I specialise in urology procedures and have a particular interest in robotics. I have anaesthetised more than 1,000 prostatectomy patients with the da Vinci S robot. I’m very excited about the prospect of the new da Vinci Xi robot coming to the hospital as part of the Trust’s expansion of its robotic surgery programme to other tumour areas. The Royal Marsden continues to push the innovation boundaries for the benefit of patients.

While it can be a challenge to combine all three roles, I enjoy the variety that the different jobs allow. I think it’s important for me to retain a clinical position, as this complements the work I do as Associate Medical Director, and it also keeps my feet firmly on the ground.