Dr Harnovdeep Singh Bharaj, consultant physician and Deputy Medical Director at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised with an MBE in the New Years Honours List for his services to people with diabetes in the South Asian community.
Alongside his busy role at Royal Bolton Hospital and in the community, he works in his own time to develop and deliver services for disadvantaged and socially-isolated groups in order to provide better access to health and education.
Dr Bharaj developed the South Asian Lay Educator role, the first of its kind in the country, to address issues with language and different health care beliefs in these communities.
In partnership with the local diabetes service advisory group, he established a very successful annual diabetes road show in Bolton which has now been incorporated into the annual Bolton Health Mela. His team also developed the Bolton Diabetes Community Champions on behalf of Diabetes UK, who are instrumental in educating people to understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, recommend GP appointments where necessary, and raise awareness of the risk factors of the condition. They also support people who are already diagnosed with diabetes to better self-manage the condition.
He said: “I am overwhelmed, humbled.
“I have been supported by so many people and am full of gratitude for their support for helping me along the way to receiving this wonderful award.
“There is still much work to be done to educate communities, including those living in social deprived areas, about diabetes. This is even more important given the current pandemic, which puts those with diabetes at increased risk.”