A MAN who has worked in the borough for more than twenty years will receive an MBE for his services to international doctors working in the NHS.

Raj Murali, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, was named as one of 1,134 people across the UK who will receive a royal honour as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List on Wednesday, June 1.

Born in Chennai, South India, Raj came to the UK in the late 1990s to continue his medical training and landed a job as a consultant at Wrightington Hospital in 2000.

Going on to become an internationally recognised hand and wrist surgeon, Raj has overseen the "exemplary" care of over 150,000 patients in his 22 years working in the borough.

In conjunction with Edge Hill University, Raj has also helped to found an innovative training programme for overseas doctors who can study for further qualifications while gaining vital clinical experience in the NHS.

Using his own experience of coming into the NHS as an overseas doctor, the course has become the second-largest training programme for overseas doctors in the UK.

With Raj at the helm, the project has overseen the training of around 1000 international doctors from more than 25 countries.

Leigh Journal: Raj has worked in the borough's NHS Trust for more than 20 yearsRaj has worked in the borough's NHS Trust for more than 20 years

Speaking about his MBE award, Raj, 59, said: "It is quite thrilling to receive the award, and for me and my team to be recognised for our work.

"We all were working flat out during the pandemic - working in the hospital as well as training the international health care workers.

"But I think the programme is a win-win, with benefits on both sides.

"We get some great doctors in the NHS which helps our own internal problems, but also provide training for the doctors who go home to help in their own hospitals - being aware not to poach the best doctors from around the world."

After setting up the international training programme in 2004, Raj added that we are "now seeing the rewards" from all his team's hard work.