Published: 12/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5822 Page 4

Professor Sir George Alberti has been revealed as the NHS's latest 'czar.'

The former Royal College of Physicians president (pictured at Epsom General Hospital with senior sister Julia McAllister) has been named national clinical director for emergency access.

His two-and-a-half days a week role will include advising on the implementation of the government's 10-year strategy to improve emergency services, improving patient experience and acting as a link between policy and clinical colleagues.

He will also act as a troubleshooter at individual trusts facing difficulties with emergency care.

Speaking at Epsom General Hospital - whose accident and emergency department has just been awarded£5.5m from the A&E modernisation fund - he said: 'I think it is unacceptable that anyone should have to wait substantial periods of time before being seen, diagnosed and treated.

'A lot of this is about changing the way we organise the work - and it is not just a question of A&E departments, It is a question of co-ordinating help for people at home or in the community.'