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".