To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the C+D Awards, we have created a special category for 2017 – and are giving you the chance to pick the winner. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking back at each of the past recipients of the coveted Community Pharmacist of the Year trophy. Readers will then be given the chance to vote for their favourite entry, with the winner announced at the C+D Awards ceremony at Celtic Manor in Wales on July 12.
First up, it's Whitworth Chemists' managing director Jay Badenhorst, who was crowned Community Pharmacist of the Year in 2015.
What made him a winner?
Mr Badenhorst drove change throughout the 35-branch Whitworth Chemists chain in the north of England, with a mixture of NHS and private initiatives. Modernisation at the pharmacy group included an overhaul of staff pay – including a standardised system based on key performance indicators – and a ‘Star Award’ scheme to reward colleagues who made a real difference.
As well as investing in the people, he also turned his attention to the premises, including a complete revamp of any cramped and out-dated pharmacies.
Mr Badenhorst encouraged the development of new ideas from staff at the branches, as well as back at head office. One notable example was a partnership with private medical practice group CityDoc, which involved staff taking blood, offering travel vaccinations and screening for a full range of sexual health conditions. Another was a coeliac testing service, developed with a pharmacy team member who has coeliac disease and wanted to do more for others with the condition.
Mr Badenhorst's top tip:
“You have to reinvest in the business, regardless of the cuts. If you don’t reinvest, people will go elsewhere. It’s really vital to make pharmacies fit for purpose.”
What’s he up to now?
Whitworth’s Fitzwilliam team in West Yorkshire launched a patient participation group, winning the 2016 C+D Business Initiative of the Year Award in the process. Refurbishment of the properties continues, with refits for pharmacies in Sunderland, Hull and Pendle.
The group holds its fifth celebration for its own pharmacists and technicians this year, combining two days of CPD with its own awards. This will coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary year – the group was founded by John Whitworth in 1967.
On a personal level, Mr Badenhorst celebrated recovering from a broken leg after a skiing accident, by becoming a group fitness instructor and setting up a community class in a local hall. He was also selected for a leadership course by Stonewall, the LGBT charity, which he says usually picks public sector workers. The course has made him reflect on whether the pharmacy sector is as “inclusive as we should be” to all groups in society.