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First woman consultant cardiac surgeon in Wales made OBE in New Year Honours

By PA News

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Professor Farah Bhatti (Swansea Bay University Health Board/PA)

The first woman consultant cardiac surgeon in Wales has been made OBE in the New Year Honours.

Professor Farah Bhatti, 55, was the first British woman of Pakistani heritage to be appointed as a consultant cardiac surgeon in the UK.

She was also the first female cardiac surgeon and first Muslim woman to be elected as a council member of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) England.

In 2007, she was appointed as a consultant cardiac surgeon at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, south Wales.

Prof Bhatti, who was born in Birmingham and brought up in south London, has been honoured for services to diversity in the NHS in Wales.

“It is absolutely wonderful to be recognised for the work I do in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion,” she said.

“It’s a privilege to be a cardiac surgeon and to also work towards creating a fairer environment where everyone can thrive.

“I feel overwhelmed at receiving this honour, and would like to dedicate my OBE to my parents, who are the real heroes of my story.”

Prof Bhatti read medicine at Somerville College at Oxford and completed her clinical training at Jesus College and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

She has trained at units including Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital and spent two years in full-time research into transplantation – gaining an MD from Cambridge University.

Currently, Prof Bhatti is the equality and diversity lead for the graduate entry medicine programme at Swansea University Medical School.

She is chair of the Women in Surgery Forum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, as well as an elected council member for the organisation.

Her other roles include student engagement lead for the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain & Ireland and Wales chair for the Medical Women’s Federation.

Prof Bhatti is also part of the GMC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum and the NHS BAME Clinical Advisory Forum.

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