Johnathan Laird, 32, Pharmacy Manager at Boots UK, Turriff, is delighted at being voted a regional winner in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ competition.
Johnathan, who has been working in Turriff for five years, was one of 18 regional finalists from across Great Britain, shortlisted by an expert panel for going above and beyond the call of duty in the name of excellent patient care.
The 18 finalists were put to the public vote for six weeks and Johnathan has been declared the Scotland winner after securing the highest number of votes.
Following on from the success of I Love My Pharmacist 2014, and running for a second year in conjunction with media partner C+D magazine, the national title will now go to one of six regional winners, all of whom have been invited to attend a judging day in London with the I Love My Pharmacist panel.
Britain’s pharmacists do much more than the public tends to realise in order to look after their patients. As the unsung heroes of the health service, they work alongside GPs, nurses and hospital staff, providing expert advice and crucial services such as medication reviews and stop smoking services. Now the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the professional body representing pharmacists across Great Britain, wants to find Britain’s best loved pharmacist - the pharmacist who goes the extra mile for his or her local community.
Johnathan was initially shortlisted due to his outstanding contribution to supporting people with asthma. When Johnathan read the national review of asthma deaths last year he was surprised to read that many were preventable and wanted to see how he could support this patient group.
Johnathan took the initiative to identify the patients who had missed their review appointments with the GP; taking the opportunity when they came to collect their prescriptions to speak with them and if possible, carry out a review. Johnathan carried out over 40 reviews with patients and alarmingly his results showed many of the patients were in urgent need of assistance. As a result of the reviews, changes in medication and ongoing monitoring have been enabled for those patients in need. Johnathan and the GP practice team are now working closely together and some respiratory patients will now be supported directly by the team in the pharmacy.
Johnathan said: “I am delighted to be the winner for Scotland. My patients are my number one priority and I’m really touched and honoured that so many of them have come forward to vote for me. This is a fantastic competition run by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. So many people do not understand the full range of services that are offered by pharmacists, and ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ helps to raise awareness of the patient care we deliver every day. We are so much more than dispensers and it’s the quality time that I’m able to spend with my patients that really makes it all worthwhile to me.”
I feel privileged that MP Eilidh Whiteford, MSP Nanette Milne and parliamentary candidate Colin Clark were able to visit my pharmacy. I enjoyed talking to them about the work I have done to help asthma sufferers in the community, as well as my involvement in the competition. I am very passionate about my work and l would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to vote for me as their regional winner.”
Johnathan’s patient said: “When I visit the pharmacy, I feel welcomed and comfortable talking to Johnathan about my health concerns. As an asthma sufferer, I’ve had problems with my condition and he helped me find the best inhaler and dosage for my condition. This has had such a positive impact on my daily life.”
Neal Patel, pharmacist and Head of Corporate Communications at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said, “Pharmacists are an integral part of every local health service and all the winners demonstrate dedication above and beyond the call of duty.
Having access to expert, personalised advice is invaluable; pharmacists also support patients in settings including hospitals and GP practices. We want to celebrate the important role pharmacist’s play across the NHS.
We are delighted with the public engagement of I Love My Pharmacist 2015, and I’d like to thank those who have taken the time to vote over the past six weeks.”
To read more about Johnathan and the other finalists, please visit http://www.ilovemypharmacist.co.uk/and follow @ilovemypharm on twitter for the latest news on the competition
For further details please contact Emma Kaye at TVC Group Emma.firstname.lastname@example.org and tel: 020 7380 8000
Notes to Editors
Key Dates for ‘I Love My Pharmacist’
- 13 October – regional winners announced
- 27 October – panel interview of the regional winners
- 3 November – I Love My Pharmacist winner announced
About Royal Pharmaceutical Society
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the professional membership body for pharmacists and pharmacy in Great Britain.
We advance the profession of pharmacy for public and patient benefit to secure the future of the profession and our members
We lead and promote the advancement of science, practice and education in pharmacy to shape and influence the future delivery of pharmacy driven services. We support and empower our members to improve health outcomes for society through professional guidance, networks and resources.
About Boots UK
Boots UK (boots.com), the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. With 2,511* stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
*As at 31 May 2015 excluding equity method investments
About the judging panel
- Ash Soni - the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He has had his own community pharmacy for over 26 years and currently runs two in London.
- Reena Barai - is the 2014 winner of I Love My Pharmacist, as voted for by readers of Woman’s Weekly magazine. She is a community pharmacist and owns a pharmacy in Sutton, Surrey.
- Jennifer Richardson - is Editor of C+D, RPS media partner for I Love My Pharmacist. C+D has been informing, supporting and championing UK community pharmacy for over 150 years.
- Neal Patel - is Head of Corporate Communications at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Neal supports the profession by improving the public’s understanding of the role of pharmacists.
Michael Mansfield - is a patient representative. Michael has been the patient of a GP-based pharmacist for several years, and believes the concept of being treated by a pharmacist in this setting works well.