Three members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have been recognised in the government’s New Year Honours 2022 for their services to the profession.
Mahendra Patel, a Fellow of the RPS, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to pharmacy. Patel is pharmacy, diversity, and inclusion lead for the ‘Platform adaptive trial of novel antivirals for early treatment of COVID-19 In the community” (PANORAMIC) trial, which is exploring effective antivirals for COVID-19 for use in non-hospitalised patients. He is also pharmacy research and ethnic communities lead, and co-investigator for the ‘Platform Randomised Trial of Interventions Against COVID-19 in Older People’ (PRINCIPLE) trial, which is also investing in community-based treatments against the virus.
In addition, Patel has led on calls for pharmacy teams to have greater input into the care of patients with type 2 diabetes; led on the development of the National Institute for Health and Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme, which aims to promote the use of evidence-based information by future health and social care staff; and was awarded the 2016 RPS Charter Award, which recognises exceptional service in promoting the interests of pharmacy.
Speaking to The Pharmaceutical Journal on 4 January 2022, Patel said that he hoped his honour would be viewed as “a recognition, an award, for the whole profession that I love and the people within it who work so hard”.
“Perhaps, as we go into 2022, it will also be an opportunity to give inspiration and, importantly, hope to all those out there.”
RPS member Asif Aziz, director of healthcare services at Boots UK, has also received an OBE. Aziz was recognised for “services to pharmacy, especially testing for COVID-19”.
In a statement, Aziz said he was “deeply honoured” to be recognised in the New Year Honours.
“This award is testimony to the dedication and commitment of many team members at Boots, who have focused on continuing to serve customers and patients throughout the pandemic,” he said.
“I am humbled and delighted to be recognised in this way.”
RPS Fellow Ade Williams, superintendent pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy, Bristol, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for “services to the NHS and to the community in South Bristol, particularly during COVID-19”. During the pandemic, Williams and his team have been calling their older patients every two weeks to check on their welfare, and working with local agencies to address loneliness and isolation in the local community. Williams is also pharmacy ambassador for the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action.
Williams told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it was “most humbling to be carrying the pharmacy flag alongside luminaries like professor Patel and Mr Aziz”.
He added: “I certainly feel undeserving [of the honour]: the uniqueness of my story is the exceptional colleagues in our pharmacy team and the unique generosity of our South Bristol community. This award brings into focus the sacrifices and partnerships that epitomise our collective work: protecting and looking after each other, especially the most vulnerable.”