OSCCA Staff Profiles
Professor Gary Mills
Email Address: Gary.Mills@sth.nhs.uk
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine
Honorary Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Perioperative Medicine
BMedSci, MBChB, PhD, FRCA, UKDICM, FFICM
I am an NHS Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH). I have been a Consultant since 1997. In 2008 I was also appointed as an Honorary Reader at Sheffield University and then in 2012 promoted to Honorary Professor in Critical Care Medicine and Perioperative Medicine. My clinical time is split between intensive care medicine (including on call) and one day per week of hepatobiliary anaesthesia.
My interest in research began as an intercalated degree student, which involved a study of imaging in chronic pain. This produced my first conference presentations and my first peer reviewed paper in the Journal “Pain”. After medical school I progressed in general medicine to registrar level, before entering anaesthesia with the aim of becoming an intensive care consultant. During this time I continued to produce research papers, before applying for a PhD at the Royal Brompton Hospital (Imperial School of Medicine) and Kings College London based around the physiology of the respiratory muscles. 15 of my journal papers from this period of work are quoted and referenced in the 2002 Joint American Thoracic Society (ARS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) statement on respiratory muscle testing. Am J Respir Crit Care Med Vol 166. pp 518–624, 2002. This work provided the background for my future research, which has predominantly related to respiratory disease and ventilation, particularly in vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
I am a member of the Protective Ventilation (PROVE) Network, the ESA Respiratory Committee and am UK lead for 4 international (Portfolio) studies, including Provhilo (recently published in the Lancet), Provent, Probese and Balanced and am on the steering committee of the Las Vegas study. I am also an academic lead for the Sheffield EPAQ-PO preoperative assessment project.
I am a member of the GAINS and GENOSEPT groups, particularly looking at the epidemiology and outcomes of faecal peritonitis.
I have gained 3 EPSRC grants in collaboration with Professors Mahfouf and Linkens at the Dept of Automatic Systems and Control Engineering, Sheffield University. This work was related to intelligent control of mechanical ventilation and prediction of sepsis progression using novel engineering techniques. I have had an NIHR grant with Professor Kang (Dept of Architecture, Sheffield University), looking at noise and its effects on patients and staff on critical care. I led the National Intensive Care Cost Block Program for 6 years, and worked with Prof Jim Wild on Hyperpolarised Helium MR imaging of the lung (conducting the first hyperpolarised helium lung imaging in humans in the UK).
I was Deputy Coordinator of the 9 Nation European FP7 study PREDICT (becoming acting lead due to the illness of the Lead Coordinator). This project examined the exclusion of older people from clinical trials (a vital topic with our ageing population with multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy). This work produced “The European Charter on Inclusion of Older People in Clinical Trials”, which I presented at the European Parliament in Brussels on June 15th 2011. This influenced European Medicine Agency Policy and I debated this area on BBC News, BBC Radio 4 “You and Yours” Program, as well as the work being featured in New Scientist and the Financial Times. I have organised National and International Research Symposia in London, including the “Charter” launch in BMA House, Bologna and Paris and have been an invited speaker in many conferences, including pro-con debates in five international conferences.
My grant income totals £1.7million. I have published 73 papers in peer reviewed journals, 2 editorials, 10 reviews and 8 referenced engineering conference papers. I am a member of the steering group of the Portfolio BREATHE study, which examines the role of non-invasive ventilation in weaning from ventilator support and the management committee of the GAINS genomics in sepsis project.
I have supervised 3 BMedSci students (plus 2 currently); all achieving 1st class Hons (one winning a national Intensive Care Society award), one NICE scholar and 9 PhD/MD students (one with two best papers in conference awards). I set up and chaired the SYCLRN Anaesthesia/Perioperative Medicine/Pain specialty group and also chaired the Critical Care Medicine Specialty Group. I was also the representative on the National Specialty Groups. Since the regions were reorganised I have become Yorkshire and Humber Lead for Research in Anaesthesia/Perioperative Medicine/Pain. I am the Academic Lead for a department of over 100 Consultants. I have played a leading role in recruiting over 700 patients onto Portfolio studies in STH since the beginning of 2013 and a lead role in the development of our enthusiastic trainee group SHARC, which recently published on “bring on your own device” in “Anaesthesia” in 2015. I have/am supervising 9 PhDs/MDS and also examined 7 PhDs/MD in Edinburgh, Leicester, Nottingham, Kings College London and Imperial College London. As part of my aim to develop the department, I have successfully applied for funding for 3 Academic Clinical Fellows in Anaesthesia for Sheffield, who have or are working on areas relating to critical care or perioperative medicine.
Honorary Secretary of the Anaesthetic Research Society (2011-15). I was the Regional Advisor for Intensive Care Medicine from 2002 – 2011 and I set up the regional ICM training scheme and education and training committee. Currently I am one of the Chief Examiners for the UK National Intensive Care Exam (FICM), with responsibility for the Structured Oral Section of the exam. I am an Editor of the BJA Postgraduate Educational Journal (2005-15).
I was Chief Executive of the Medical Education and Research Centre Sheffield for 5 years, lead for the National Intensive Care Cost Block Program for 6 years and presented a comparison of Cost Block data against payment by results to the Department of Health in 2009. Locally, I have introduced new policies and practices and established and chair the multidisciplinary Respiratory Support Committee, the Critical Care Serious Infections Committee and am a member of the ICM Governance Committee.