MBE for UWL academic who helps patients get the gift of sight
A specialist Ophthalmic nurse who has helped give patients the gift of sight for 40 years and today trains the next generation of talent at the University of West London, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his lifetime of service to Ophthalmology - the branch of medicine concerning eye disorders.
Ramesh Seewoodhary, 65, has been handed the honour in the Birthday and New Year Honours List 2018. It comes 40 years after he arrived in the UK from Mauritius to train as an Ophthalmic nurse and then began a career which remains as rewarding today as four decades ago.
The honour from Buckingham Palace was entirely unexpected, Ramesh said. When the Civil Service first telephoned him about it, he suspected it was like a crank call and hung up the phone. An email from the Cabinet Office was deleted and so was a follow-up email because he suspected a scam. Officials finally broke the good news by calling Ramesh at home.
Responding to his ennoblement in to a Member of the British Empire, Ramesh said: ‘I wasn’t expecting it at all, so I was very surprised. My family are thrilled and we are looking forward to it enormously.
‘I have seen many eye disorders over my 43 years in this specialist sector and they can affect anyone at any age, even before birth. For this reason, eye-care is highly rewarding because when patients gain sight they really feel they have been given a gift.’
For the vast majority of his career, Ramesh has practiced at Moorfields Eye Hospital in central London – which is an international centre of excellence in eye care, with 30 satellite clinics nationwide. He has lectured in Ophthalmology at the University of West London's College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare since 1994, during which time he has trained more than 3,000 eye-nurses from across the world, including Jordan, Singapore, India and the USA.
In 1998, Ramesh published research entitled: ‘Effectiveness of Sodium Hypochlorite as a disinfectant in Ophthalmic Nursing Practice’ in the International Journal of Ophthalmic Nursing. For this demanding project, he received support and guidance from UWL Honorary, Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, who recognised the high value of the research in raising standards. ‘She put me on the right track,’ Ramesh said.
Professor Peter John, UWL Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘For Ramesh, this is a richly deserved honour which is testament to his outstanding service to the practice and theory of Ophthalmology, over the course of more than four decades. At the University of West London, our priorities are to prepare the next generation of talent for successful careers through outstanding teaching and also to generate useful knowledge via academic research of high practical value. Ramesh’s achievements epitomise both parts of this mission and we are very proud of him.’