Dudley pharmacist Olutayo Arikawe – who won Community Pharmacist of the Year and Pharmacy Manager of the Year at the 2016 C+D Awards – was voted the national winner of the third annual Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) I Love My Pharmacist competition, the society announced on Wednesday (September 14).
Ms Arikawe was shortlisted as one of the competition’s 23 regional finalists in June, before being voted the regional winner for the Midlands and east England by a public vote in August.
She beat five other regional pharmacists to the national title when a panel of judges voted her the overall winner last week (September 9).
The RPS said Ms Arikawe was chosen as the winner because she had made her pharmacy “more than a place that just dispenses medicines”.
She has converted her pharmacy’s board room into an exercise space for patients, and has created a “safe space” for patients to come and speak to her about sensitive issues, such as mental health problems or drug dependency, the RPS said.
Ms Arikawe said she was “overwhelmed” that so many patients had voted for her, which showed that “all the hard work that my team and I put into our community does not go unnoticed”.
RPS president Martin Astbury said Ms Arikawe was a “worthy winner” and an “outstanding community pharmacist”.