A PROFESSOR, whose children were raised in Cowbridge and who described the work-life balance in the Vale as "unbeatable", has received a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.  

Professor Keshav Singhal, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon with Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to medicine and to the community in Wales.

Describing what it was like to receive such an honour, Professor Singhal, 62, said it was a mixture of emotions.

“Surprise, elation and gratefulness,” said Professor Singhal. “There’s a feeling of gratitude to all the workers in the NHS who are trying so hard to deliver services to our communities. It is always a team effort and I am proud to be part of that.”

Professor Singhal, who lives in Wenvoe, moved to South Wales from Birmingham in 1997, with his first consultancy appointment being Bridgend Hospital - he has been there ever since.

His two sons were educated at Cowbridge Comprehensive in what he described as a wonderful education, which led to them following in their father’s footsteps, becoming doctors in London.

As well as being a consultant surgeon, Professor Singhal was also chair of the Covid-19 Risk Assessment group, established at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, which led to the development of the Covid Workforce Risk Assessment tool.

Professor Singhal is also a governor of the India Centre and Chair of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).

In June this year, after a landmark report into racism in medicine by the British Medical Association, which found that nearly one-third of doctors surveyed considered leaving the NHS due to race discrimination, Professor Singhal told ITV News NHS Wales would "collapse" if it didn’t confront racial issues.

But of all the achievements made by Professor Singhal, they never took him away from his love of the Vale.

“I am very happy in the Vale,” said Professor Singhal. “It is an absolutely beautiful part of the world. The quality of life is very good. You cannot beat the work-life balance.”

Watch the YouTube video below of Professor Singhal receiving his honorary doctorate from The University of South Wales (06:25) 

Medical director at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, Dom Hurford said: “We are immensely proud of Professor Singhal and his outstanding contribution not only to our communities within CTM but also to the health of the nation.”

Asked if retirement now loomed having achieved so much, Professor Singhal said no chance.

“I still get a buzz going out to work and making someone well again to the best that I can, so retirement is not on the horizon.”