Air Commodore (Professor) Rich Withnall (chair of the Warrior Care in the 21st Century Foundation)
Air Commodore Rich Withnall joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a Medical Cadet in 1990 and qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London in 1992. He undertook General Practice Vocational Training at Princess Mary’s RAF Hospital, Halton and Peterborough Hospitals National Health Service Trust. His UK postings have included Senior Medical Officer appointments on fast jet, multi-engine and rotary flying stations, and the RAF’s recruit Phase 1 training unit. He has undertaken Command & Staff appointments at HQ Personnel and Training Command, HQ AIR Command, HQ Surgeon General and the Ministry of Defence. His overseas experience includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Denmark, the Falkland Islands, Ghana, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Norway, Romania and the United Arab Emirates. He was appointed as Advisor in General Practice (RAF) in 2005, then undertook the Advanced Command & Staff Course in 2007-8, winning both the Brooke-Popham Prize for the Best Defence Research Paper and the Sir Michael Howard Prize for the Best MA student. After a tour as SO1 Med Pol in the Ministry of Defence, Rich returned to HQ AIR Command as Deputy Director Health Services (RAF) in 2010. He was selected as the first RAF Defence Professor of General Practice & Primary Care in 2013. In 2017, he became the first primary care clinician to be appointed as the Defence Medical Services’ Head of Research & Clincal Innovation.