Chet was only four when he arrived in the UK from Kenya. Growing up in Wembley was an interesting experience given its rich diverse Asian culture – and studying dentistry in Liverpool was a real culture shock. After spending time conducting research in mouth cancer to obtain his PhD, he returned to study medicine and then trained to work as a consultant in emergency medicine, a job he views as a “a hobby he is happy to get paid for”. He has spent more than 27 years working in the NHS in a number of hospitals around the country.
He also works as an academic in emergency medicine and has been the lead crowd doctor at the Kia Oval since 2007.
In 2010 he set up a voluntary initiative that provides free health checks for heart disease, diabetes and mouth cancer to fans and staff at cricket matches across the UK and, to date, his team of volunteers has delivered over 5,000 free health checks. He also has a passion for wildlife and set up the Tulsi Foundation in 2016, which provides health and medical support for forest rangers in tigers reserves in Central India. In 2015 he suffered a small stroke which thankfully he has recovered from – but he has not forgotten his debt to the NHS staff who helped his road to recovery. Not new to publishing, he wrote a children’s book about health and conservation whilst recovering from his stroke.
He says: “Although we cannot pretend there is no issue with forms of discrimination towards BAME staff in the health service we can work to promote the positive aspects of our diverse NHS which I am very proud of. The idea for this project came to me as I was shielding at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Witnessing the impact on our BAME workforce was heart-breaking and I felt powerless to help, given that I have a long list of comorbidities to keep me off the frontline”.