Murali Bhat.pngSouth Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is happening from 18 July until 17 August and the theme for 2022 is Journeys of Empire. SASH staff of South Asian heritage are taking part by sharing their case studies.


1. Why did you join the NHS?

The NHS allows me to treat complex cases, teach trainees and develop the orthopaedic service for large populations. Since COVID, I have enjoyed contributing to the positive changes, such as virtual consultations, remote working, developing care plans with videos, etc.

2. Tell us about your NHS journey

After my orthopaedic training in India, I came to the UK to enhance my knowledge and skills in orthopaedics. I completed four years of training as a specialist registrar in the Northern Ireland orthopaedic rotation based in Belfast. Northern Ireland is regarded as one of the best centres in Europe for training in trauma care including multiple traumas, gunshot injuries and complex trauma.

Possessing the skills to perform most types of trauma and general elective surgery, I then added a new dimension to my abilities following my specialist training in hand surgery by completing a specialist fellowship in hand surgery from Nottingham.

I was then appointed by the Wessex deanery as a specialist registrar at Portsmouth, during my final pre-consultant year. During this period, I trained to widen my interest to include shoulder and elbow surgery. In 2005, I was appointed as a consultant in upper limb/ hand surgery at East Surrey Hospital.

3. Describe your proudest moment

In March 2020, with the first lockdown, I sat at home and worked non-stop on developing and refining 134 written plans with videos for common limb injuries. Then, I established a system to label them for safe deployment by non-clinical staff. This formed the basis for one of the best consultant-led virtual fracture clinics (VFC) in the world. I learnt so much during this journey and hope to share my knowledge and skills at a wider level.

4. What does South Asian Heritage Month mean to you?

I am proud to be South Asian. India is playing cricket vs England at the Oval today (12 July 2022) and I have tickets to watch the game with Ashwin, my son. I’m whole-heartedly supporting India.

5. What makes you proud about your culture and heritage?

There are many things that we take for granted about the South Asian culture. As I grow older, I am realising it more. I like practising yoga twice a week. Family values, respect for elders, Indian philosophy and living within my means are some of the things that make me proud of my heritage.

6. What is the one South Asian dish you cannot live without / what is your favourite South Asian food?

Roti with a spicy vegetable curry is something I can live on every day. It’s so simple and delicious.

7. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing?

I wake up every morning looking forward to making people healthier and happier as a doctor. I would not replace it with anything else. As I get older, I am able to choose the things that make a difference and give up the things that don’t as a doctor. In doing so, I have managed to make time for my mental and physical wellbeing by partaking in different sports, travelling, reading, watching films and listening to music.

For more activities, visit the South Asian Heritage Month website to discover a calendar of online events, or take a look at SASHnet to find out how we'll be celebrating at SASH.