In recognition of their services to healthcare, Scotland’s former chief pharmacist Rose Marie Parr and community pharmacist Nigel Dugmore have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that Professor Parr received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to pharmacy and pharmacy education, and Mr Dugmore, the superintendent pharmacist at Donnington Pharmacy in Telford, Shropshire, was given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to pharmacy and the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday 11 June, the latest honours were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said the awards “allow us to pay tribute to all those who have gone above and beyond in their service to this country.
“We should take heart from the stories of those receiving honours today and be inspired by their courage and kindness. May they be a reminder of all that we can achieve when we come together as a society.”
Professor Parr tweeted that she was ‘delighted and honoured’ to be included in the honours.
She added: “For me, it is about recognition of the pharmacy profession and the pharmaceutical care and kindness that community and hospital pharmacy teams deliver to the people in the communities we serve.”
Alison Strath, Scotland’s current interim chief pharmaceutical officer, said that Professor Parr’s honour was ‘incredibly well deserved’, and England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge congratulated her, tweeting: “Occasionally, something good happens.”
Professor Parr left her post as Scotland’s chief pharmacist earlier this year to take on a new role on General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) governing body.
She had previously served as the chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society before its regulatory powers were transferred to the GPhC in 2010.
During her time as Scotland’s chief pharmacist, she launched ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care’, a strategy document as part of which she hoped to encourage people to use pharmacy as a ‘first port of call’.
At the end of April, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s Dr Cheryl Smyth described Professor Parr as ‘an inspiration to young female pharmacists aspiring to further their careers’.
Meanwhile, community pharmacy has not gone unnoticed, with Mr Dugmore, a pharmacist of 35 years, saying he was ‘pleased and proud’ to have been honoured.
“It was good to be recognised because pharmacy is a bit like the Cinderella of the NHS,” he said.
During the pandemic, Donnington Pharmacy remained open seven days a week, delivering medicines to around 3,000 patients.
“It’s great to be recognised and that your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed,” Mr Dugmore added.
“I feel guilty in a way because I get an award, but it’s a team effort. So it’s recognition of the team as well. We’ve got fantastic staff; everybody’s gone above and beyond what was expected.”
Also recognised in the honours list were Mike Thompson, former chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, ‘for services to medicine supply resilience and development’ and Richard Turner, research and development director at AstraZeneca, ‘for services to pharmaceutical manufacture and the COVID-19 response’.
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