Mahendra Patel, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board, has been awarded the annual RPS Charter Award, which recognises exceptional service in promoting the interests of pharmacy.
The award, chosen by the RPS assembly and president, was one of ten awards announced at a ceremony during the RPS annual conference, on the evening of 4 September 2016.
Patel, a Fellow of the RPS, is principal enterprise fellow in pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield. He is a fellow of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and was responsible for developing the NICE student champions scheme. Throughout his career he has also championed the work of the South Asian Health Foundation, a charity that promotes healthcare improvements in the UK’s South Asian communities.
RPS president Martin Astbury said: “His dedication and commitment are second to none and he has been an outstanding advocate for pharmacists and the RPS.”
The RPS Lifetime Achievement award went to Tony West, who has recently retired from his role as chief pharmacist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession throughout their career by promoting pharmacy, innovation, research and development.
Helen Gordon, chief executive of the RPS, described West as a “phenomenal leader and role model in hospital pharmacy both in the UK and Europe”.
“Among his many achievements has been his development of hospital pharmacy services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, which have led the way for other hospital pharmacies,” she added.
The award for RPS Clinical Pharmacist of the Year went to Graham Stretch, prescribing lead, Pharmacy Care Solutions. Stretch has led a pharmacy-team approach to demonstrate that clinical pharmacy and medicines management are essential to delivering an integrated pharmaceutical service for patients. This approach has been adopted by eight local GP surgeries for community and care home patients and a recent audit suggested that it delivered a saving of around one hour, per GP, per day. The award was presented to Stretch by Scott Richardson, chief operating officer for Pfizer.
Olutayo Arikawe was awarded the RPS Public Health Pharmacist of the Year award by Ivo Timmermans, chief medical officer of Idis. Arikawe is a pharmacist manager at The Priory Community Pharmacy in Dudley, as well as a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton. She was nominated for her outreach programme, which successfully helped to raise an awareness of healthy living and encouraged more people to access services provided by their pharmacy, for example for cancer care, falls prevention, health checks and alcohol abuse.
The RPS Preregistration Pharmacist of the Year award was presented to Ali Azmandian. Azmandian was nominated for his work in starting the “Pre-pharmacy programme”, an initiative targeting secondary school students that aims to raise awareness of the benefits of the pharmacy degree and the job satisfaction associated with being a pharmacist. The award was presented by Jose Moss, deputy pharmacy superintendent at Boots UK.
The RPS Local Practice Forum (LPF) award was presented to Wessex LPF by Michael Champion, the secretary general for the British Pharmaceutical Student’s Association (BPSA). Wessex LPF has an extensive events programme, including joint events and a conference, with a range of topics to attract pharmacists from all areas of practice.
The 2016 Pharmacy Research UK award went to Debi Bhattacharya to recognise her contribution to pharmacy practice research and her potential to become a leader in the field. Bhattacharya is a senior lecturer in pharmacy practice at the University of East Anglia’s school of pharmacy as well as chair of the East Anglia LPF.
RPS Student of the Year award went to Lara Seymour from Robert Gordon University (RGU). The award was given to Seymour because of her proactive role in supporting and leading RGU students in professional involvement. She established a pharmacy law and ethics group to give students a platform to discuss ethics and legislation affecting pharmacists. The award was presented by Amit Parekh, president of the BPSA.
NES Pharmacy and Dundee University were announced as winners of the RPS Excellence in Education award, which was presented by Mahendra Patel. The award recognised the value of the NES Advanced Clinical Skills for Pharmacy Independent Prescribers course. The course supports pharmacist independent prescribers to assess, diagnose and treat patients with a range of self-limited and long-term conditions.
The 2016 RPS Leadership in Pharmacy award went to Alistair Gray, clinical services lead pharmacist at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Gray was responsible for the development of the Refer-to-Pharmacy system, designed to ensure the save transfer of patients between care settings by sharing essential medicine-related information with community pharmacists. Use of the system has resulted in 1,907 referrals between October 2015 and May 2016 and has coincided with a reduction in the rate of hospital readmissions.