Asian Voice – Professor Iqbal Singh

Professor Iqbal Singh

An experienced clinician specialising in care of the elderly, pioneer in ethnic health and diversity, combined with board level GMC and Healthcare Commission Service. He is a Medical Leader with great credibility in the wider community, particularly in relation to equality and inclusion matters.

Professor Singh is a member of the Health Honours Committee. He was appointed in August 2018 and is deeply committed to widening access and outreach and embedding fairness and equality in systems.

He is a member of the National Platinum Awards Committee and medical vice chair of the Advisory Committee for Clinical Excellence Awards North West and led the way for stakeholder engagement. As Founder and Chair of the Centre of Excellence for Safety in Older People’s Care, Professor Singh has led on training and education of the workforce within the health and social care sector on issues around improving skills and knowledge and equally focusing on embedding a culture of compassion and respect.

1. Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
Very much at home in Blackburn and the UK and equally at home in Punjab, India. I was brought up in Chandigarh and qualified in Amritsar and have been a consultant in Blackburn for over 30 years.

2. What are your proudest achievements?
My contributions to the care of older people over almost four decades, improving the safety and quality of care and embedding dignity and compassion in healthcare and equality and inclusion more widely.

3. What inspires you?
My patients and colleagues over the years and seeing and delivering improvements in healthcare.

4. What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
Not an obstacle, but the limited resources within which NHS staff have been working, especially over the last many years and the need for cultural change.

5. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
My parents who always believed in the wellbeing and the good health of all, especially those who need it the most. They always felt that people who devoted their life to the service of others were really very lucky.

6. What is the best aspect about your current role?
To be able to make a meaningful contribution to address the challenges of older people living longer, healthier and more independently and also improvements and achievements in fairness and equality.

7. And the worst?
I try to focus more on the positives rather than the negatives, of course there are impediments and areas that may need changing, or could be improved, but working in health one realises that the best way is to do your utmost with the limited resources and support available.

8. What are your long term goals?
To contribute to health care, health and medical regulation and improving ethnic health and embedding inclusion and diversity in all aspects.

9. If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
Ensure that there is adequate funding for health and education and that staff are valued and recognised and supported and that everyone’s potential is realised and maximised.

10. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
Sir Garfield Sobers and how he managed hit six sixes in an over.