Dr Subramaniam Balachandran, from Tamil Nadu, was awarded Member of the British Empire (MBE), an order of the British Empire Award, for his contribution to the National Health Services (NHS) during the pandemic on Monday (January 10).
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board congratulated Dr Balachandran, also known as Dr Bala, for his recognition in the Queen's New Year Honours when he received an MBE, as they stated on their website and Twitter handle.
Congratulations to Dr Subramaniam Balachandran (known as Dr. Bala), for his recognition in the Queen's New Year Honours as he receives an MBE: For services to the NHS in COVID-19.— Cardiff & Vale UHB (@CV_UHB) December 31, 2021
Find out more: https://t.co/5sJ4et0P8M pic.twitter.com/VpRhoP5oZ9
What Is An MBE?
Member of British Empire (MBE) is an order of the British Empire Award. It is the third highest-ranking order after Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OCE). It is awarded to someone who positively impacts their field of work.
Dr Balachandran's Journey & Work Done During Pandemic
His work during the pandemic started with contributing to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, especially for the aerosol-generating procedures. His PPE guidance helped prevent cross-infection between patients, health care workers and their colleagues. Hence, the healthcare workers felt safe in their working environment, which contributed to the maintenance of the workforce within Cardiff and Vale UHB.
Moreover, during the peak pandemic period, Dr Balachandran and his team carried out over 3200 mask fit testings on various Filtering Face Piece 3 (FFP3) masks. He also worked in providing reusable respirators to protect the staff at the UHB. Moreover, he helped the dental staff in and around Cardiff too.
He has been doing regular FFP3 mask fitting sessions since the Swine flu pandemic that broke out in 2009-10 and continued to do so during the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.
Professor Stuart Walker, Interim Chief Executive at Cardiff and Vale UHB, said, "I am incredibly proud of the work Dr Bala has done and this well-deserved recognition is a testament to his commitment to infection prevention and control," as stated by Cardiff and Vale UHB's website report.
Since the safety of the workforce is always important, Dr Bala's work in minimising cross-infections and, in turn, assuring the safety of the staff was appreciated. Professor Walker added that he was able to adjust accordingly and continued to ensure staff safety by quickly changing guidance in handling the pandemic.
Dr Balachandran's brother-in-law M Ravi said, "Balachandran studied at the Uthukuli Government High Secondary and joined Thanjavur Medical College. He completed his MD and Diploma in Anaesthesia there in 1989. He served in Karur Government Hospital and Ramanathapuram Government Hospital for several years before moving to the UK," to the New Indian Express.
Coming from Uthukuli, Tamil Nadu, Dr Balachandran is now leading the board for infection control at Vale University. He was appointed as a Consultant Anaesthetist at Cardiff and Vale UHB in May 2002 and led the Infection Control Board for more than 12 years. He was given the honour along with two other doctors.