Professor Keith Willett has been recognised in The Queen's Birthday Honours List, awarded the highest honour of knighthood. Prof Willett is the National Director for Emergency Planning and Incident Response to NHS England and NHS Improvement and is the Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at the University of Oxford. 40 years in the NHS and a consultant surgeon, he has extensive experience of trauma and emergency care, healthcare management and driving service transformation.
In 2018 he was appointed the Strategic Commander to deliver the preparation of the NHS to leave the EU. Then in January 2020 as Strategic Incident Director he also took on the responsibility for leading the NHS response to the coronavirus pandemic across England.
Prof Willett said: "I am very honoured to be recognised. I am also acutely aware of the very many good people in the NHS family who in recent times have given so much, and some, everything.'
In 1994 Prof Willett co-founded the 24-hour consultant-resident Oxford Trauma Service. In 2003 he founded the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education in Oxford focusing on the treatment of critically ill and injured patients. 2009 saw him appointed as the first National Clinical Director for Trauma Care to the Department of Health and he was charged with developing and implementing government policy to improve the care of older people with hip fractures and to establish Regional Trauma Networks and Major Trauma Centres. By 2012 both re-organisations and care pathways were successfully in place and are credited with marked improvement in patient care and survival.
Professor Andrew Carr, Head of Department at NDORMS said: “Congratulations to Keith for receiving this highest honour it is a well deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions over many years that has resulted in both improvement in the quality of life and also the saving of lives of patients in the NHS."