Haroon Mahmood, who won C+D’s inaugural Above and Beyond Award at the C+D Awards 2018, was given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for “services to the community in the West Midlands, particularly during COVID-19”, it was announced last week (December 30).
Mr Mahmood, who is a relief manager for Well Pharmacy in Darlaston, Walsall told C+D today (January 4) that the recognition is “for the whole of community pharmacy”, not just himself.
“I am just one person, but collectively there are so many more people out there who day in day out go above and beyond for all their community pharmacy patients,” he said. “It’s nice to get the nod from the Queen and the establishment – as long as it’s a testament to the whole of pharmacy,” Mr Mahmood added.
Pharmacy is “backbone” of COVID-19 response
His approach is to try to “inspire people, bring the community together, bring down barriers [between] different cultures and religions and bring community spirit back”, Mr Mahmood told C+D.
The community pharmacy sector has formed the “backbone” of the COVID-19 efforts and needs more funding to “complement the great work that is going on day in day out by everyone”, he added.
“This is a collective effort,” Mr Mahmood said. “We need the government and health secretary Matt Hancock to realise that and utilise [pharmacy] better and I will be doing everything in my power to support the cause.”
More pharmacy workers honoured
Also on the Honours list was Patricia Diane Geraghty, a Lloydspharmacy dispensing technician recognised for “services to pharmacy services” in Leek, Staffordshire during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lloydspharmacy told C+D: "We're incredibly proud of our pharmacy dispensing technician Patricia Geraghty, who has been awarded with the British Empire Medal for services to her community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"What Patricia has done to support patients and customers throughout the pandemic has had a huge impact on her local community, and we are lucky to have such dedicated colleagues across our business, protecting our communities and ensuring everyone gets the support they need, when they need it."
Susanne Lynch, based in Merseyside and head of medicines management at South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southport and Formby CCG, was also awarded for services to pharmacy, particularly during the COVID-19 response.