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Woman’s Weekly names ‘Britain's best pharmacist’

Contractor Reena Barai says she was inspired by her father to meet high professional standards 

Contractor Reena Barai has been voted the winner of RPS and Woman's Weekly 'I Love My Pharmacist' competition, by readers of the magazine

Surrey contractor Reena Barai has been voted ‘Britain's best pharmacist' by readers of Woman's Weekly.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), which ran the 'I Love My Pharmacist' competition in conjunction with the magazine, named Ms Barai the winner out of a shortlist of five pharmacists today (December 2). 

Ms Barai said she wouldn't be celebrating her win, which was the result of reader votes between October and November, if it wasn't for her family, friends, staff and customers. "I grew up aspiring to be the ‘best pharmacist' because I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and in my eyes he was ‘the best'," she said. 

Ten years ago Ms Barai took over her late father's business, S G Barai pharmacy in Sutton, which she runs with her mother.

"This competition has hopefully shone some light on the important role every pharmacy plays in their local community," Ms Barai added.

The five shortlisted pharmacists were all nominated by their patients. Clare Blake, who along with her late husband nominated Ms Barai, said she was a "very knowledgeable pharmacist, like her father", who always had "a smile and time to answer questions and advice accordingly". "This often saves the necessity to make a GP appointment," Ms Blake said.

Mrs Blake said the win was "a fitting tribute" to Mr Blake. 

RPS president Ash Soni said Ms Barai was a "shining example of how pharmacists are a trusted, focal point for their community". 

How effectively has the Woman's Weekly campaign promoted the role of community pharmacy? 

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Pharmacy HLP, Manager

Well done more strong role model and good PR always needed for the hidden profession holding the NHS together.

Congrats who wouldn't like an accolade from customers and patients this is their recognition not a professional bodies one.

Let's up your game not shoot down a fellow professional

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Show me the money !!

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Congratulations Reena Barai, anything that gives the profession a positive caring professional image is good in my opinion. Well done and good for her!

Er Ds, Superintendent

well done reena. good achievement

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I for one feel very pleased for Ms Barai. I hope others will see her as an example of what to aspire to - wouldn't we all like to be Britain's Best Pharmacist? I know I wouldn't mind!

Again, very well done!!

[email protected], Pre-reg graduate

"""‘Britain's best pharmacist' """

I object to use of such a term by a magazine. It is also biased and sexist as it surveyed only women (at least the magazine is called Woman's Weekly). Pathetic that the RPS supports such a kind of an event. They seem to follow the foot steps of GPhC in rating pharmacies based on its inspections.

Asmita Patel, Community pharmacist

Oh for God' sake grow up. Rina has managed to achieve something that many of us would like to aspire to be. She has put in the hard graft and rather than just looking at the award has anyone bothered to look into her background and see what else she does to support the role of community pharmacists?
She is passionate about her profession vocal whenever there is a need and makes sure she puts her case forward for the right cause to the relevant organisations.
There seems to be a lot of hoohah because she is female? How about looking at her as an individual and seeing what she has achieved in her short lifetime in community compared to what a lot of us have done to the years that we have been practising. She is forward thinking, fights for what she believes in and is also very active when it comes to supporting local as well as national campaigns.
How many of you do that? Stop whinging and try doing what she does and the hopefully you may just be a runner up to one of these awards!!!

I don't really think Woman's Weekly are purporting to be spokespeople of the nation, to be honest. Their demographic is pretty clearly defined. Whilst you are correct to be skeptical about surveys, i think this is a pretty harsh assessment of a minor article in a particular magazine.

Let me know when GQ performs a country-wide survey of every household =D

[email protected], Pre-reg graduate

"""pretty harsh assessment of a minor article in a particular magazine.""

A minor article awarding "Britain's best Pharmacist" and supported by RPS, and the results being published in C&D.

Don't you think this is not a minor subject to discuss??

Can't you see the agenda behind these promotions. Tell me a good reason to believe that this exercise has helped any aspects of our practice. Can't you see how other pharmacists may be feeling about not being given a fair chance before a Public Magazine went on to publish results of it's stupid contest that put their profession at risk of losing public confidence? so on and so forth ........... this is not any Lloyds/ Boots/ any company running "Best Pharmacist/ Manager" award, where they have laid down the rules based on the company policies and procedures and not just based on what a reader of their magazine thinks !!! Do we even know how many readers of this particular magazine lived in the areas of each contestant (if they were selected without bias) ??

Mr Dispenser, Community pharmacist

I think Reena is amazing and a great role model.

Can someone buy Pre-reg graduate a subscription to Womens Weekly to stop him/her whining?

[email protected], Pre-reg graduate

Mr. Dispenser,

There is no personal accusation against the winner of this stupid scheme. It does not achieve any professional goal other than some cheap publicity for the Magazine. My main concern is using the phrase "Britain's Best Pharmacist". Which means, apart from the winner, all other pharmacists in Britain are either not up to the mark or useless. Irony ????

Really? Wow, Superintendent Pharmacist


I suggest that you stop spending your time writing negative posts and go and do some graft and maybe you could achieve something similar. Why all the nay-saying?

All pharmacists are not the same in quality; and under the current government agendas and the way the profession is changing this is going to be highlighted even further. This attitude that 'all other pharmacists are now bad by implication' is the biggest load of rubbish I have ever heard. Are you that lacking in confidence that you are 'up to the mark' that you are trying to bring everyone else down to you?

Lets all strive, aspire and celebrate excellence in our profession as that is the only way that we are going to move forward and up-wards!

Helen Pinney, Pharmacy technician

Technically no, that cannot be described as irony.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Dear Pre-Reg graduate
If this is so minor and stupid, why are you getting in such a froth about it?
It's is, I am sure, meant as nothing more than bit of fun.
Allow this excellent pharmacist to bask in the glory of her accolade and don't be so mean spirited

If you want to get angry about something, turn you focus to the erosion of margins, or those pharmacist who were caught by the BBC and have now been suspended, struck of or whatever - Now, THOSE are targets for your ire!!!!

P K, Locum pharmacist

I don't personally know the winner but I am delighted for her achievement and it is good to have some very positive PR for community pharmacy. I'm sure there are many many more such examples around the country and we should not be upset that we weren't nominated or chosen - I have been told numerous times that I am missed by my old regulars having left a pharmacy a few months ago. That makes me feel as good as any award.

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