National Awards Recognise Local Passion and Dedication

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The winners of the fourth annual Recognition of Excellence Award have been announced at the Dorchester in London. Presented for outstanding achievements in the world of pharmacy, this year’s finalists include three pharmacy staff members from Buxted, East Sussex.

“Inspirational”, “Fantastic” and “Brilliant”: just three of the words used to describe the winners of this year’s Recognition of Excellence Awards by the panel of expert judges, which included Leyla Hannbeck, Chief Pharmacist at the National Pharmacy Association.

The Recognition of Excellence Awards are organised by Training Matters, the UK’s leading publication for community pharmacy teams. All of this year’s shortlisted entrants showed outstanding examples of how pharmacy teamwork and dedication can come together for the benefit of local communities in numerous ways. And the impressive list of finalists included Samantha Kedwards, Emma Moffitt and Claire Blake-Rowland from Buxted Pharmacy.

The Pharmacy Champion Award was introduced this year to reflect achievement in raising awareness of pharmacy within the community. Described as “a true champion of pharmacy”, the winner was Samantha Kedwards from Buxted. Samantha works tirelessly to raise awareness of health messages and takes pharmacy to the heart of her community. From designing leaflets to promote the pharmacy, setting up a medicines delivery service and performing blood pressure checks in shopping centres to participating in local events, Samantha impressed the judges with her outreach work. As one judge said, being at the heart of the community is exactly where a community pharmacy should be. Samantha also scooped up a highly commended accolade in the Healthy Living Advisor category after impressing the judges with her passion and advocacy of healthy living.

Emma Moffitt, also from Buxted Pharmacy, was named highly commended for the Innovation Award. Emma impressed the judges with her new ideas to better serve her community and reach more patients via social media, as well as with her innovative blister packing system for residential and care home patients This is one of her proudest achievements and rightly so. In her own words, pharmacy needs to change and be innovative to survive – and she is certainly helping her pharmacy to do just that.

Buxted Pharmacy’s third Recognition of Excellence finalist was Claire Blake-Rowland, who was named highly commended for the Outstanding Contribution Award. After working in the hotel and leisure industries as well as accountancy, Claire switched her career to pharmacy. She has been a medicines counter assistant for two years, is undertaking her NVQ level 2, is ready to obtain level 2 in her healthy living pharmacy training, provides counselling on the use of inhalers, performs blood pressure checks and is the point of contact for the pharmacy’s weight management programme. Her manager describes her as ‘the little whirlwind’ of the pharmacy.

Commenting on the Awards, managing editor of Training Matters Gemma Woodall said: “Our winners – and indeed all of this year’s entrants – demonstrate the incredible work being done up and down the country every day by inspirational pharmacy teams and individuals who help the people in their communities live better and healthier lives. They really do make a difference, and they deserve to be celebrated and recognised for all that they do.”

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I have lived in Sussex for the past 15 years and have links with many of the arts venues throughout the county. I am passionate about the local arts scene and, as well as providing reviews of local performances, I also preview some of the exciting shows and events taking place around the county. I have devoted all of my working life to the worlds of theatre and travel so, when I am not on holiday somewhere, you can usually find me at one of our superb local theatres, or simply enjoying life with my young son.

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