Tribute: Joy Wingfield

It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Joy Wingfield. I had the privilege of knowing Joy for nearly all 20+ years of my professional career. My first real meeting was through the Nottingham and District local Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) of Great Britain branch, where she was a regular speaker and where my IT skills supported her lack of. In 2006, we became colleagues and friends in the pharmacy practice team at the University of Nottingham. I remember being awestruck at the opportunity to be working with the Joy Wingfield. Truth be told, Joy was a lovely, friendly individual. She always looked out for her colleagues and was a great friend and confidante. Joy had a quite wicked sense of humour at times and her reactions to political and regulatory decisions, especially those that defied logic (and there were many) were quite unforgettable. One particular afront I recall was the idea of eating in public. I shan’t ever forget her question to our first year students early in the course as to what they thought about “Is it OK to eat a Big Mac and chips on the bus?” (Note “chips” — Joy would never call them “fries”!). She was firmly against this, but did recognise that perhaps times were changing.

Joy was not only a friend but a mentor to many, myself included. She successfully secured money from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, to establish the APplied Pharmacy Law and Ethics Teaching (APPLET) project. APPLET created a national network of law and ethics teachers to meet, share and collaborate on the advancement of law and ethics teaching. It was APPLET that first introduced me to many of my distinguished colleagues today. While time has moved, on the collaborations and spirit of APPLET live on.

I never found myself able to say “no” to Joy. She was always a step ahead of why a “no” wasn’t going to be viable. I lost count of the number of her IT queries I assisted with. I am very grateful that she convinced me to become a member of the Pharmacy Law and Ethics Association (PLEA) to further my interests in the area. Joy co-founded PLEA with the late Dr Gordon Appelbe (of Dale and Appelbe’s Pharmacy law and ethics), convincing me that I wanted to become an active member of the executive. The professional opportunities this has subsequently afforded me have been immense and I cannot thank Joy enough for her encouragement and support. It was her original direction that set me on a path to receiving my RPS Fellowship last year.

Joy and I kept in regular contact after her retirement, and even when she finally finished with ‘all things pharmacy’ in 2017. Her drive to support others never waned as she signed up to be an advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau. My lasting memory will be Joy telling me that, despite her lack of IT skills, she had successfully managed to continue her Citizens Advice Bureau work during lockdown, taking telephone calls through her computer, attending team briefings on Microsoft Teams and supporting people in need via Zoom. Who would have thought it!

Lastly, Joy’s passion for the autonomous rights of the individual were embodied in her campaign for Dignity in Dying. She strongly believed that the individual should have control over their own life and to have the right to choose to go when they wanted. She wrote several pieces in this area, including many parliamentary consultations. Unfortunately, this did not come to fruition in her lifetime.

Joy will be greatly missed by many, but especially by me. Joy was so much more than a colleague.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, March 2021, Vol 306, No 7947;306(7947)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.49543

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