Michael Von Bertele 

Michael Von Bertele 

Professional Title Consultant Occupational Physician

Companies & Organisations NHS

Session Title Working under Pressure: Using Divers to staff Intensive Care

Dr Michael von Bertele CB OBE FRCP

Michael von Bertele is a Consultant Occupational Physician and was a military doctor for 35 years, trained in aviation and underwater medicine. He retired as Director General of the UK Army Medical Services in 2012. He served on operations in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, the Balkans, and the Middle East. From 2003 to 2012 he was variously responsible for medical planning in the Ministry of Defence, for the training and deployment of all military medical personnel, and for the assurance of the complete care pathway for injured personnel from point of wounding, evacuation and through all levels of hospital care and rehabilitation. As Director General and Capability Director for Health in the Army at the height of the Afghanistan campaign, he was acutely aware of the challenges faced when treating severely injured casualties in remote locations.

After leaving the Army he worked for two years as Humanitarian Director for Save the Children International, and in 2014 he led their Ebola response in West Africa, supervising the establishment of the DFID funded Ebola treatment centre at Kerry Town in Sierra Leone. At that time he worked closely with the High Level Isolation Unit at The Royal Free Hospital when one of his staff was found to have Ebola, having returned to the UK. He established the Board of Inquiry to identify how she had contracted it and what lessons might be learned. A key theme was the difficulties faced in recruiting and training specialist healthcare professionals to carry out novel tasks when managing large-scale health emergencies at short notice.