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Spotlight on independent excellence

Pharmacy Awards

Spotlight on independent excellence

Our five winners also reflect the amazing services being delivered by every such pharmacy, every day, around the UK

The Independent Pharmacy Awards, now in their ninth year, were presented at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London, on September 30. Winners came from across the UK to be there on the day. The principal guest was Dr Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer, NHS England. The awards were sponsored by Numark, the National Pharmacy Association, TENA, RB UK, Actavis and Sigma

Independent Pharmacy Award winners 2016, left to right: Fiona Johnston, Alan Kurtz, Laura Sharp, Ade Williams, Paul Scott-Harris

The Independent Pharmacy Awards recognise excellence in the professional and business aspects of pharmacy. There are prizes for the Independent Pharmacist of the Year, Pharmacy Innovation, Pharmacy Team Learning and Development, and Pharmacy Team of the Year, as well as a Key Staff Award for a staff member who excels in customer and patient support.

Introducing the event, Steve Bremer (editor, Independent Community Pharmacist) said that the awards highlighted the incredible passion, commitment and innovation behind thousands of independent pharmacies around the country.

He went on: “At this event last year I spoke about a new spirit of optimism in
and around pharmacy, and how it, as the Cinderella profession, might finally be about to get an invitation to the ball. Well, an optimistic interpretation of the events of the past 12 months might be that our invitation got lost in the post. Pessimists might say that the ugly sisters ripped up our ticket.

“But the public remain in absolutely no doubt about the value of their local community pharmacy. Over two million people who signed a petition against proposed funding cuts were horrified to think that these valuable health and social care services were at risk. For some, these services are quite simply priceless.”

Mr Bremer said that independent pharmacies continued to be at theforefront of innovation and delivery of valuable patient services, whether it was
flu vaccinations, minor ailments services, or working from GP surgeries. Their place at the heart of their communities, their patient focus, and their flexible operating systems, allowed them to constantly adapt their offering to meet the needs of their patients. “We are showcasing just a few of the best examples of independent pharmacy practice today, and you can’t fail to be moved by their devotion to the cause of patient care. I think our five winners also reflect the amazing services being delivered by every such pharmacy, every day, around the UK.”

Left to right: NPA chairman Ian Strachan, Ade Williams and Yolanda Kong of  Bedminster Pharmacy, NPA chief pharmacist Leyla Hannbeck, NHSE deputy chief pharmacist Bruce Warner, ICP editor Steve Bremer, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board Sandra Gidley, Sigma Pharmaceuticals' sales and marketing director Rajiv Shah

Guests on the day included Ian Strachan, chairman of the NPA, Helen Gordon, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Harry McQuillan, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, Sandra Gidley, chair of the English Pharmacy Board of the RPS, Hemant Patel, secretary of North-East London LPC, Rajiv Shah, sales and marketing director at Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Richard Evans, member of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board, Ash Soni, member of the English Pharmacy Board of the RPS, Rekha Shah, chief executive officer, Pharmacy London, Fin McCaul, independent proprietor and special adviser to the NPA, and Dr John McAnaw, chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the RPS.

Welcoming the principal guest, Dr Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, Mr Bremer said that he could not be accused of being remote from practice because he had first-hand experience of it “from just about every conceivable angle”. He had been employed by a large multiple, a small and a large independent, and owned his own pharmacy business. He had also worked in primary care, secondary care and academia.

Realising early in his career that he wanted to own his own business, Dr Warner purchased two pharmacies in Sheffield in 1987. Selling one of the pharmacies
after nine successful years allowed him to develop his interest in prescribing issues.

Dr Warner had had various roles, including practice pharmacist, prescribing adviser
and lecturer-practitioner, before joining the National Patient Safety Agency, where he rose to associate director. He was appointed as England’s deputy chief pharmaceutical officer in 2014, with responsibilities including taking forward the work on medicines optimisation.


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Pharmacy Awards