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Sheffield pharmacist’s ‘pioneering vision’ lands him spot on NHS awards shortlist

A Sheffield community pharmacist has won a place on a shortlist for an awards ceremony celebrating “outstanding” health and care workers.

Contractor Martin Bennett was put forward for the NHS Parliamentary Awards in the lifetime achievement category by the Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield.

The awards website, where the shortlist was published on Tuesday (June 13), noted that through his work Mr Bennett has “led, trained and encouraged excellent teams with the number one aim of providing the best possible services to patients”.

Mr Bennett has had a “pioneering vision” for his business that he has made a reality over 50 years at Sheffield’s Wicker Pharmacy, according to the entry nominating him for the award, seen by C+D.

He has been the managing director of Wicker Pharmacy, a late night and extended-hours community pharmacy open seven days a week, since February 1973.

Read more: Student wins award for research on pharmacy suicide prevention

The awards entry said that he had “pioneered lots of pharmacy projects” over his career, and most notably “co-ordinated Sheffield pharmacies to offer opiate substitution therapy for people struggling with addiction”.

The model Mr Bennett set up “was later adopted in other areas of the country”, the entry said.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards recognise “the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working in the health and care sector”, according to NHS England (NHSE).

The winners for this year's awards will be announced at a ceremony in Westminster on July 5.


The best is “still to come”


Mr Bennett said he is “not nervous at all” about the ceremony, and is “proud that a pharmacist has made it” onto the shortlist.

When asked about the highlights of his career, Mr Bennett told C+D these were “still to come”.

Wicker Pharmacy was the first in the country to be rated “excellent” by General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) inspectors in 2014 under the regulator’s previous ratings system.

Read more: Pharmacy Wicker man awarded MBE

And Mr Bennett was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010 in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his services to pharmacy.

At the time, he said the award was “a great honour for me personally”, but that “it should also be seen as recognition for the team at the Wicker and for my family, all of whom have been instrumental in enabling us to develop the Wicker Pharmacy and the Wicker Mobility Shop as centres of excellence”.

Also shortlisted the NHS Parliamentary Awards was Bye Bye UTI, a community pharmacy-based urinary tract infection (UTI) pilot scheme that "helped women get a diagnosis and treatment for a very common condition in a timely manner", according the the awards website.

The scheme, which was first launched by Northeast and North Cumbria integrated care board (ICB) in July 2022, has now been rolled out in several areas across England.


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