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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Tony Bleetman, MD PhD FRCSEd FRCEM DipIMC RCSEd


Programme Lead, Enhancing the Safety and Wellbeing of Persons in Care and Custody. Honorary Senior Lecturer, Consultant in Emergency Medicine

Centre: Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma

Telephone: 07885347743
Twitter: @Tony_Bleetman


I have been a Consultant in Emergency Medicine since 1996. 

I served for 14 years as a Consultant at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. I was Emergency Planning Officer for the Trust, writing, exercising and responding to major incidents. 

I served as a Clinical Lead and North West London Hospitals NHS Trust and was later appointed as Clinical Director of Urgent Care and Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Kettering Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I also served as a part-time Consultant Trauma Team Leader at St Mary’s Hospital Major Trauma Centre in London for three years. 

I was an active pre-hospital doctor between 1994 and 2014. I served as the Honorary Secretary of BASICS UK and worked for 12 years in the air ambulance service (HEMS) serving as Clinical Director of the Midlands Air Ambulance for three years. I later served with the Air Support Unit at Great Western Ambulance Service. 

I received a PhD in Occupational Health from the University of Birmingham in 2000 for development work on body armour.

I currently work part-time, as a Locum Consultant in the UK and hold a part-time position as an Attending Emergency Physician in Beilinson Hospital, Israel.

I initially served as an external examiner for a Masters programme at Queen Mary University of London and from 2023, I shall be leading a new Queen Mary masters programme on enhancing the safety of persons in care or custody.

I hold the position of Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Warwick Medical School. I have an active and extensive research portfolio.

I served as an examiner to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

I currently serve as a medical advisor to the Ministry of Defence serving as a member of SACMILL (Scientific Advisory Committee on Medical Implications of Less Lethal Weapons).

I sat on government advisory committees for disaster and emergency planning. This included provision of advice and expertise in writing national guidance and policy documents and development of the national response to CBRN, ‘big bang’ and ‘rising tide’ incidents. 

In 1998, I qualified as a police instructor for unarmed defensive tactics, safe prisoner restraint, handcuffing, tactical communication skills, incapacitant sprays and knife defence. Since then I have been able to work with mental health, custodial and other services to minimise the risks of physical intervention and restraint. 

Through this interest, I have been able to offer opinions on use of force, and injuries sustained during restraint, arrest and detention. I continue to provide expert advice to a number of national bodies and organisations on the safety of physical interventions. I am engaged in developing safe physical interventions and effective training strategies across a number of agencies including the prison service, the police, secure hospitals and secure children’s homes. I have also been able to assess the safety of restraint devices, physical intervention packages, behaviour management plans and individual care plans.

I have published numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and authored a number of chapters for medical text books. 

Proud and excited to be launching a taught Masters programme in enhancing the safety and well-being of persons in care and custody at QMUL in 2023. This is the first of its kind in the world and we will equip the leaders of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills to promote dignity and enhance safety in care and custody environments.


Research Interests:

Emergency Medicine, Pre-hospital care, less-lethal weapons.

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