Olutayo Arikawe, 39, from Dudley has been named the national winner of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual I Love My Pharmacist competition.
The organisation launched the I Love My Pharmacist Award 2016 in April this year which celebrates the exceptional contribution pharmacists make to patient care on a daily basis across the UK.
In June, Olutayo who runs the Priory Community Pharmacy in Dudley, was shortlisted by an expert panel to become one of the 23 finalists. Thousands of members of the public then voted for their favourite pharmacist. In August, Olutayo was announced as the regional winner for Midlands and East.
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.
On Friday September 9th in London, Olutayo, along with the five other regional finalists, presented to the judging panel who would determine the eventual winner of the competition.
The judges decided Olutayo was most deserving of the prize due to clear evidence of her going above and beyond to improve the lives of her patients. It was apparent that her pharmacy is a community asset, and far more than a building that dispenses medicines.
Olutayo Arikawe said:
“I am really honoured and delighted to be the winner of I Love My Pharmacist Award 2016’. Patient care is at the core of everything that we do at the Priory Community Pharmacy – I believe that if you take care of the community, they will in turn take care of you.
“I’m overwhelmed that so many of my patients took the time out of their day to vote for me. It shows that all the hard work that my team and I put into our community does not go unnoticed. I want to say a big thank you to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for this opportunity and a big thank you to my staff and patients for all their support throughout this award.
“The judging day was an eye opener – it was a pleasure to meet the other finalists and to learn about the great work they do. I Love My Pharmacist Award is a fantastic platform to showcase the extra mile these pharmacists go for their patients. Together we can create greater awareness of the role of pharmacists in the NHS.”