Expert Details

Expert in Microbiology, Infection, Infection Control, Occupational & Hospital Hygiene, Biohazards, Needlestick

Expert ID: 728312 United Kingdom

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Expert offers a highly valued research-driven consultancy specialising healthcare, environmental, and occupational microbiology, waste management, and bio-safety. With a strong science-based research record in these areas, and a background in NHS and University Medical Schools, he has over 35 years post-qualification experience in laboratory and applied microbiology, and diagnostics, with research interests in hospital, occupational & environmental microbiology, surgical sepsis, hygiene, infection prevention control, healthcare waste management, sharps safety, and bio-safety.

He offers specialist services in several key areas: healthcare, environmental & occupational microbiology; occupational hygiene; sharps (needlestick) injury; hospital, community and environmental infection control; surgical sepsis; briefings, planning & licensing; site survey, audit & analysis; clinical waste management; waste safety; hygiene & PPE assessments. He has acted for many public- and commercial-sector clients in the UK and elsewhere as an advisor on healthcare waste management and disposal. Local, regional and central government agencies together with educational, charitable and aid agencies NHS Trusts and waste management, pharmaceutical & medical equipment manufacturing sector clients feature among an international client base.

Expert was, from 2006 until its dissolution in 2009, an Adviser to the Healthcare Commission. In this role, he investigated and advised on complex cases concerning matters of infection, infection prevention and control, post-surgical sepsis, antibiotic prophylaxis errors, diagnostics, and the predictable C difficile and MRSA infections. He now has a similar appointment with its successor organisation, The Care Quality Commission.

He operates an active research program with additional contract research, academic and commercial presentations, and delivers specialist training and support to undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral students. He lectures widely, at home and abroad, and teaches on several medical, scientific and nursing taught courses. He has an extensive publication record of blue sky, translational and applied research publications in addition to reviews and book chapters.

His activities extend beyond the healthcare environment, embracing occupational hygiene and industrial microbiology, and the welfare of waste handlers and others exposed to biological hazards including blood and body fluid exposures, and sharps injuries.

He sits on the Editorial Board of The Biologist, and completed a term on the Board of The Journal of Infection Prevention. For more than 3 decades, he has been a reviewer for many core high impact factor medical and scientific journals.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, of the Institute of Biomedical Science, and of the Royal Society for Public Health. He is a member of the Healthcare Infection Society and of the Infection Prevention Society. He is a Chartered Biologist, Chartered Scientist, and Chartered Waste Manager, and a Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Expert has more than 25 years’ experience preparing legal reports, briefings and Expert Witness reports, including work in Crown, County, and High Courts, in the Coronial Court, and in Planning and Public Inquiry. He is a Partner of the Health and Care Professions Council, and sits on its Fitness to Practice panel.

Expert has an extensive background in aspects of occupational, environmental and healthcare science (medical microbiology). Trained in the UK NHS and University Medical Schools, he specializes in microbiology, infection and infection prevention, and hygiene, with over 35 years post-qualification experience. This includes a 7-year attachment as microbiologist to the academic Department of Surgery of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School where I developed research interests in device-related and surgical infection, antibiotic prophylaxis, and in particular hepato-pancreaticobiliary tract infections.

Expert has additional research interests in hygiene management, infection prevention and control, and the wider aspects of occupational and environmental hygiene management. Expert has a wide academic overview and involvement in teaching and training of healthcare-related and occupational infection prevention & control, healthcare hygiene, sharps and bio-safety, bio-hazardous waste management and waste-related occupational safety. This creates a possibly unique role combining the skills of an infection prevention specialist and waste manager, academic, researcher, teacher and trainer, with many years’ experience in the healthcare, regulatory, academic, and commercial sectors.

In 2010, Expert was invited to review and subsequently to brief the Government of the Isle of Man concerning the arrangements for island-wide clinical waste management. Current waste management arrangements were examined in depth, including a comprehensive waste audit at the Island's main hospital. This was extended to an examination of hygiene and health and safety matters, logistics, cost appraisal and compliance with the EU and UK legislative frameworks to refine existing waste management arrangements, promote best practice, and reduce the volumes of waste processed in a dedicated clinical waste incinerator that suffered high dioxin emissions due to its discontinuous operation profile.

Peripherally, this project involved support of a University of London postgraduate student in the conduct of waste and environmental auditing.

Expert has reported on many cases of medical malpractice, each involving some aspect of microbiology.

Cases have been received from private clients and instructing solicitors, and from the Healthcare Commission for whom Expert was appointed as an adviser in microbiology from 2006 to its dissolution in 2009.

Cases have involved post-surgical sepsis, cannula-related sepsis, urinary tract infection a range of infections caused by MRSA and other pathogens, Clostridium difficile, Lyme disease and more general complaints of delayed or inadequate diagnosis or treatment.

Other cases have involved sharps injury and other occupational illnesses including Legionella infection (Legionnaires Disease). Expert was retained as the microbiology Expert Witness in the Powertrain case in which 90+ claimants alleged failure in the management of metalworking fluids as the cause of a range of respiratory symptoms including severe extrinsic allergic alveolitis.

The case required review of all aspects of metalworking fluid management including its natural history and the nature of contamination with micro-organisms of environmental origin; technical assessment of microbial contamination including culture of metalworking fluids and a range of indirect markers; the use and control of biocide additives including biocide assay, biocide stability; the spectrum of activity of biocides, resistance mechanisms; the prevention and containment of metalworking fluid aerosols, and the burden of micro-organisms in air; PPE use; causative mechanisms.

The case concluded with a meeting of Experts instructed by the Birmingham Country Court. Expert has acted in a diversity of addition consulting activities including Crown Court and High Court cases, Public Inquiry, Planning applications and appeals, licensing appeals and other regulatory processes including presentations to review panels at home and abroad as part of the application process for pharmaceutical licensing. Expert has provided reports, appraisals and evidence-based guidance to a range of private clients in the waste management, pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing and other sectors, including advice to investors. Presently, around 15 mainly medico-legal, hygiene, occupational-related cases per annum International consultancies with Expert Witness appearances in Sweden, Gibraltar, Japan,

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1982 Degree: MSc Subject: Microbiology Institution: University of London

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1984 to 2018 Employer: Blenkharn Environmental Title: CEO Department: Responsibilities: At his eponymous firm, Expert is an independent consultant environmental & healthcare microbiologist with a practice centered on aspects of clinical waste management, occupational and healthcare hygiene, bio-safety, sharps injury, healthcare-associated infection, healthcare hygiene, and infection prevention and control.
Years: 1997 to 2004 Employer: Imperial college, London Title: Microbiologist; Administrator Department: Department of Infectious Diseases Responsibilities: Expert was responsible for the administration of a large academic microbiology and infectious diseases department embracing 6 distinct departments spread over 4 campus sites, and clinical infectious diseases and medical microbiology (laboratory diagnostic microbiology) services to two major London teaching hospitals.

With responsibilities for educational support and with a personal teaching, the post embrased the management of substantial change in an evolving university medical school and teaching hospital environment. An on-going teaching and research & development commitment was matched with a responsibility for individual tutoring and research and teaching support, commercial and developmental activities.
In parallel with these activities, he maintained a successful and expanding private practice. This involved substantial international consultancy activity to pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing companies, and to clinical waste management companies, and embraced additional research and teaching in these and other areas.
Years: 1974 to 1997 Employer: Royal Postgraduate Medical School Title: Senior Microbiologist; Business Manager Department: Department of Bacteriology & Infectious Diseases Responsibilities: He contributed as Senior Microbiologist to the delivery of a high-quality diagnostic microbiology service. This role was augmented by specialist microbiology research and diagnostic services in support of the academic department of surgery, with collaborative and independent research activities in the fields of infection prevention and control, surgical microbiology and in particularly infection of the hepatopancreaticobiliary tract, device-related infections and anaerobic bacteriology.

This appointment included additional business management and administrative responsibilities first to teh diagnostic microbiology service and laterly to teh academic departments of bacteriology, infectious diseases and virology of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

Coincident to this appointment, he was a lecturer in microbiology to several regular courses of the University of London and for the Institute of Medical Laboratry Sciences and was for a time an examiner for that Institute.

With additional appontments in the private sector, he began during this appointment an extensive research career that continues to date, publishing extensively in the medical and scientific literature, and teaching and lecturing by invitaton around the world.

This formed the basic of the present international private practice, that continues to deliver a highly respected science-led and research driven practice.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1996 to 1998 Country / Region: Ecuador Summary: Expert was invited by representatives of the Government of Ecuador and the NGO Fundacion Natura to advise on standards of clinical waste management in hospitals across in the Country.The work involved much teaching of nursing, medical, technical and support staff, and of local, regional and national government officials in the health and environmental services, and of several university groups including engineering, microbiology and public health groups.The work was sponsored and supported by The British Council
Years: 1998 to 2002 Country / Region: USA Summary: Expert was invited to advise a Cleveland, Ohio, based company on the product refinement, packaging and use, and teh placement of a range of healthcare hygiene products in the international marketplace.
Years: 2006 to 2008 Country / Region: Ireland Summary: Expert was commissioned to advise on the safe management of excavation and reshaping of a closed landfill site in Dun Laoghaire in which it was suspected that clinical wastes had been deposited without authority.The work involved technical assessment of uncovered waste residues and remnants, advice to operators and regulators concerning the risks to operators and the precautions necessary to ensure safe operation and site containment. Advice was also give to a robust and vociferous local community action group and their political representatives. This involved an overview of the finds and their likely origins, the probability of pathogen survival, the risks to individuals and to the environment, and a review of the safety precautions and containment methods proposed for continued site operation.
Years: 1986 to 2000 Country / Region: Switzerland Summary: For many years, Expert provided ad hoc technical, regulatory and research support to teh anti-infectives division of Geistlich Pharma AG, Wolhusen, Switzerland.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Fellow of the Society of Biology; Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences
Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health

Member of the Healthcare Infection Society
Member of the Infection Prevention Society
Member of Sense about Science
Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management

Member of the Royal Society of Medicine

Licenses / Certifications
Registered with the Health Professions Council
Chartered Biologist
Chartered Scientist
Chartered Resources and Waste Manager

Professional Appointments
Member of the Product Accreditation Panel of the Royal Society for Public Health
Previously Vice Chair, Professional Registers Committee for the Society of Biology
Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Hospital Environment & Hygiene Management
Member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Infection Prevention (formerly British Journal of Infection Control)
Member of the Editorial Board of The Open Waste Management Journal
Member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Electronic Health
Member of the Editorial Board of The International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology
Member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Hospital Infection
Previously Member of the Editorial Board of The Biologist
Member of the editorial review panel of Waste Management
Member of the editorial review panel of Waste Management & Research
By invitation, a regular invited reviewer for many other medical and scientific journals, and has been recognized as in the Top Ten Reviewers for 2010 of the journal Waste Management
Awards / Recognition
Expert was awarded the Chartered Institution for Waste Management Waste Regulation Award for a paper he authored.
Publications and Patents Summary
Expert is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications in the medical and scientific literature including research papers and editorials, reviews and scientific correspondence.

He additionally writes, by invitation, for a number of non-peer reviewd and trade or commercial publications, and for Croner.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Expert's practice portfolio as an Expert Witness extends over 25 years includes a diverse range of microbiology, extending from personal injury claims involving, for example, matters of diagnosis and treatment of infection and infection prevention and control, to management failures in hospital administration.

He was retained, until dissolution in Q2 2009, as an Adviser to the Healthcare Commission with responsibility for case investigations involving aspects of infection. He currently holds and appointment as Specialist Adviser to the successor body, the Care Quality Commission.

Further cases have involved foodborne and travel-related infections, and occupational infection risks including sharps (needlestick) injury, Weils disease and, among a diversity of occupational cases, adverse respiratory effects of exposure to contaminated metalworking fluids, technical failures in monitoring and control of that contamination, and failures in biocide control.

He continues to investigate and report on personal injury claims but extends this service to include guidance and information to claimants so that they can better understand the detail of their care, the follow-up and long-term implications, and the reasons underlying decisions not to proceed with legal proceedings.

Work has included Crown and County Court appearances, Public Inquiry, planning and licensing applications and appeals, and appeal presentations to the CSM and European regulatory agencies (pharmaceutical registrations). By invitation, he has written for Croner in its Health service Briefings series.

Expert has acted for several governments and government agencies, and for private clients including representation in planning and licensing applications and appeals, market intelligence and guidance, safety and compliance monitoring.

Expert has more than 30 years’ experience in the preparation of Expert Witness reports and briefings, including work in the Crown and High Court, in the Coroner’s Court, in Arbitration, Tribunals, and at Public Inquiry.

Expert has particular experience in both medical negligence/malpractice cases and in more complex and extensive high value occupational and environmental cases, and in criminal cases including murder! Instructions, including instruction from outside the UK, are commensurate with my knowledge and experience and relate to matters of microbiology, in particular:
o infection prevention and control
o post-surgical and device-related infections
o laboratory diagnostics and the control of chemotherapy
o sharps injury
o clinical and other biohazardous waste management
o related environmental and occupational microbiology
o bio-safety

By far the majority of instructions involve cases of alleged medical malpractice and misadventure, the development of healthcare-associated infection, food safety, and community, domestic and occupational hygiene and bio-safety. Expert has additionally received Instruction in cases overseas. Reports are timely and detailed but concise, with a short and balanced review of the appropriate medical and scientific literature where appropriate.
Training / Seminars
He teaches regularly on technical, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK university and healthcare sectors, and by invitation to a number of professional bodies and clients in the private service and manufacturing sectors. He additionally supports individual postgraduate and doctoral students.

He is a StemNet Ambassador. He sits as Vice Chair of the Society of Biology Professional Registers Committee.

He delivers small group teaching and training to nurses, scientists and technicians, to ancillary workers and other groups in the commercial sector, and 1-2-1 briefing and training sessions and tutorials for senior managers.

With particular interests in biosafety and expertise in laboratory microbiology, expert had accepted a post as Safety Adviser to a specialist company offing chemical and microbiological analysis, providing core and supplementary safety training for technical and support staff.

Expert has lectured widely at home and abroad, presenting research papers and guest lectures on subjects including medical microbiology and surgical sepsis, infection prevention & control, clinical waste management and sharps injury. He has chaired many lecture sessions and conferences, and has most recently organised and delivered the first of an annual series of conferences on healthcare waste management and hospital hygiene held in Dubai.
Vendor Selection
Expert has performed formal assessments of a range of innovative medical devices as part of his research activities, with reports to producers and where relevant formal peer-reviewed publication of results. He has additionally worked closely with developers and others in the design and initial assessment of medical devices.

He is regularly approached by suppliers, developers and manufacturers of a range of medical devices and of equipment and technologies intended for use in the clinical and related waste disposal sectors. Requests range from a superficial commentary or opinion, to an in-depth technical assessment.

Expert is creator and manager of the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum. Though that Forum is intentionally non-commercial, those responsible for a range of products and services have used the Forum to contact Expert for advice and guidance on technical and more general commercial and development guidance, and for technical support. Despite this, he insists on maintaining full independence and is not retained by any organisation, supplier or vendor.
Marketing Experience
Expert has extensive experience in several key sectors: Healthcare – microbiology and infection, infection prevention and control, healthcare hygiene, diagnostics, laboratory and general biosafety, sharps injury; Pharmaceuticals – product development and evaluation, clinical trails, formulation science, manufacturing; Medical devices & disposables – design and evaluation, clinical trails, technical assessment; design for disposal; Waste management – process evaluation and control, safety, environmental impact; public policy, regulation, science vs policy.

He is frequently consulted by industry and investors, by trade bodies and by professional groups and learned societies. He sits on the Royal Society for Public Health product accreditation panel, and on the Chartered Institution of Wastes management health & safety panel. A past member of the ASTM International F2132 sharps container standard task group and an active member of the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) consultancy. He is a member of the charitable organisation Sense about Science, and provides advice and support to a number of charitable and aid agencies, including a role as an adviser to a UK-based Hepatitis C support forum.
Other Relevant Experience
Expert has wide experience in the, commercial, pharmaceutical, manufacturing waste management and facilities sectors, as well as health, scientific, academic, regulatory and government sectors.

His extensive experience brings together several disciplines, from academic and diagnostic, surgical sepsis, antibiotic and chemotherapy, and clinical trail, to medical devices and device-related infection, design and manufacturing including pharmaceutical microbiology and manufacturing, policy and regulation, and litigation. This extends further to industrial and occupational microbiology and biosafety with emphasis on the waste and manufacturing industries. Supported by extensive teaching, lecturing and research, a strong publication record in the peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals, Expert is perhaps uniquely experienced in each of these areas, and is consulted widely by fellow professionals, representatives of commercial and investment enterprises, manufacturers, and by the professional bodies representing many of these diverse fields.

See attached CV for examples and more information.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English First language

Fields of Expertise

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