A consultant at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Professor S Raj Murali, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Trust’s Wrightington Hospital, has been awarded an MBE for Services to International Doctors working in the NHS.
Specialising in hand and wrist surgery, Professor Murali joined WWL in 2000 and in 2004 started the ‘Earn, Learn, Return’ programme to attract international doctors to come and train in Wigan. Now, this programme is the second largest in the UK for training international doctors and contributes to improved patient care, ensuring that junior doctor staffing levels are well maintained. International Doctors make up such an important part of the NHS, and Prof. Murali is incredibly invested in protecting and promoting opportunities and the representation of international Doctors here at WWL.
Professor Murali commented: “Learning of my MBE nomination was a very pleasant surprise, but I could not have done any of the work I have been awarded for without the team behind me. I share this nomination with them and the rest of my colleagues at WWL.”
In conjunction with partners at Edge Hill University, ‘Earn, Learn and Return’ is an innovative postgraduate training programme for overseas doctors which offers an opportunity for experienced international clinicians, who have higher postgraduate qualifications, to come to the UK and study for a MCh or MMed, whilst gaining further clinical experience in the NHS.
Now, there are trainees in over 50 different subspecialities including obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics and ear, nose and throat, that have a collective experience of learning within the NHS, and a huge alumnus that have both stayed in the UK or returned home to share their knowledge in their home country.
WWL Chief Executive Silas Nicholls said: “I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Raj on this very well-deserved honour. We are extremely proud of his achievements and all of his excellent work, not just as an acclaimed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at WWL, but his instrumental work in recruiting and training overseas doctors nationally.”
During the pandemic, around 250 international doctors were directly affected and during the peak, when non-urgent elective work was suspended. Several actions were instigated by Prof Murali to mitigate this, and his empathy and moral support was provided to all doctors who were contacted, on several occasions, by email and/or phone to ensure that their health (and that of their family) was not affected.