A/Professor Neil Orford

Senior Staff Specialist


Neil is a senior staff specialist in Intensive Care at University Hospital Geelong. His interests include clinical leadership,communication. clinical research, philanthripy, and writng for the public. 

Neil was Director of UHG ICU from 2008-2020, overseeing the move into the new 24-bed ICU, the development and commencement of the Paediatric ICU and ECMO service, and the i-validate program. He has undergone leadership training throughout his career, including the STEPS program, Cognitive Institute, Monash University, the Burlington Group, the NOUS group, and Harvard leadership and negotiation courses. 

His reasearch interests include long-term outcomes, particularly critical illness induced osteoporosis, and shared decision-making. 

Neil's philanthropic interests includ providing Intensive Care Specialist supoprt for Open Heart International, a volunteer program that provides cardiac surgery to the Pacific Islands, and as a founding member and Director of the international educational website;Crit-IQ. He is a Clinical Associate Professor for the Deakin University School of Medicine.

Since 2015 Neil has also published a number of opinion pieces about EOL care and women in ICU, grief after suicide, and his personal reflection on a career in intensive care. He also pariticipated in a Lateline program about EOL care

EOL Care



Silence in a pandemic

What is an intensivist?

Clinical leadership

As a leader Neils role include;

·       Director of Barwon Health ICU 2008-2020

·       Board Director of the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) of Australian and New Zealand

·       Member of the Safer Care Victoria State ECMO Working Group

·       Former Board Member Intensive Care Foundation. 


He has participated and contributed to leadership and culture improvement in Australian Critical Care. This includes;

·       Harvard International Leadership Development Program for Physicians (2018)

·       Harvard Negotiation Masterclass (2019)

·       Partnering with the Nous group to develop and implement a culture program at BH ICU

·       Coordinating CICM culture strategy.

·       Co-convenor for the CICM Directors Meeting

Clinical Research

Neil maintians an active interest in clinical research. This inlcudes;

  • Leads the Australian based SOFTER (Skeletal Outcomes following Intensive Care) program into accelerated bone loss and its consequences following critical illness.
  • Local PI for ANZICS CTG endorsed multicentre clinical trials, including the management committee for the TRANSFUSE, VITAMINS, EXCEL, and BLENDER multi-centre trials.
  • Reviewer for Critical Care Medicine, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and the Intensive Care Foundation
  • Research lead for the iValdate Program
Shared decision making for life limiting illness

As a patient advocate Neil has been the clinical lead for a unique program that aims to improve shared decision-making for patients with life limiting illnesses, particularly in the acute hospital setting. The iValidate (identifying values, listening, and advising high-risk patients in acute care) was developed by a Barwon Health / Deakin University collaborative, and includes a 2-day interactive, simulated-patient, small-group training program, clinical support and process of care, and accompanying research program.  

Writing for the public

Over the last 5-years he has contributed to public conversation about health issues through JAMA “Grief after Suicide”, The Age (“Give death it’s due in a system focused on life”, “mothers: respect the strong selfless women in your life”), participating in a Lateline program about end of life conversations, and perspective on being an intensivist for the MJA.


At a philanthropic level Neil is the Intensive Care Specialist for Open Heart International Fiji, a volunteer program providing cardiac surgery for rheumatic heart disease. He is co-developer and Director of Crit-IQ, an international website providing education for critical care doctors, providing free resources to low-middle income countries.