Kiran Patel

Kiran was born in West Bromwich in the UK on 28 November 1969. His father was born in Kenya; his mother was born in India and migrated to Kenya.  Kiran’s parents arrived in the UK with six daughters, Kiran being one of two children to have been born in England. Both parents worked as steel factory workers in West Bromwich. Kiran went to Cambridge University where he undertook his undergraduate medical training, completing house jobs in Cambridge and Bristol, before working in Birmingham. He now works as a Consultant Cardiologist and Associate Medical Director at Heart of England NHS Trust, having been cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals for eight years where he also held secondments to the senior management positions of Clinical Director for NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority and Medical Director for West Mercia PCT Cluster. He is also the Chairman of the South Asian Health Foundation.

Inequalities in access

I wanted to come back to work where I was born and grew up and went to school to give something back to the local community because I grew up in this diverse, multicultural community and I saw what some of the real challenges were for my parents who had migrated from East Africa. I remember back to when I went to see my GP with chicken pox - I was about fourteen - and having a thought that I want to come back because people aren't getting a good deal and I think that's when I decided to become a medic. Growing up around here, in the community, common sighting was that people had recurrent illnesses, but they couldn't articulate them to the doctors and specialists, purely because of language or cultural barriers. So it was evident from a very early age that one of the roots of inequalities was access. I worked fairly hard, I got to university, got to Cambridge but then I still held my promise that I'd come back and work here if I could.

Kiran Patel

UK