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Pharmacist Invited To St James’s Palace For Her Community Service During Covid

Published on: 8 May, 2022
Updated on: 8 May, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

The owner of the Guildford Chemist in Worplesdon Road, Stoughton, Smita Patel, said she was “honoured” to be invited to St James’s Palace in recognition of the work of community pharmacists during Covid.

Smita Patel, phamacist and owner of Guildford Chemist in Stoughton, outside St James’s Palace for the event hosted by the National Pharmacy Association with Prince Charles attending.

Smita was one of 200 pharmacists from around the country who attended the event hosted by the National Pharmacy Association on Wednesday, May 4. She said it was a “real honour to have our work recognised”.

Prince Charles met those attending and “was charming,” said Smita.

Screenshot from the Daily Mail coverage of the National Pharmacy Association event with Prince Charles.

In a speech recorded earlier, he thanked them “…for their tireless efforts to keep people safe and well during the pandemic. I know that this has been about the most challenging time possible for everyone working in the health service. Throughout it all, your commitment to patient care has never wavered, despite the many enormous pressures you have faced.”

On the lead up to visiting the palace, Smita said she was “so nervous, I didn’t know what to wear, what to do”.

She added that Inside St Jame’s Palace: “Everything was elegant. You go through the security and then footmen guide you through the halls with wonderful tapestries on the wall. It was lovely.

“It was an evening to meet other NHS colleagues from around the country. We were able to talk about how Covid has changed our careers. We do far more patient consultations than before and are able to treat minor ailments. And this is only going to increase.

“The local chemists is always here, People know us and they can talk to us because we are more accessible than other parts of the NHS.”

From the left, Julia Funnell, Smita Patel and Elaine Langridge. Other staff members include Sylvia Strong, Rania Nar and Felicity Coleman.

Throughout the interview with The Guildford Dragon NEWS, there was a steady stream of customers at the pharmacy at 125 Worplesdon Road. One customer said: “They are always friendly and you get good service here.”

Smita said the day was “very special to me” but she could not have done it without her “ladies” in the shop. “They have been my rock,” said Smita.

Julia Funnell, one of the team of “Smita’s Ladies” who works at the chemist, said: “Pharmacies need recognition. Smita has been here for around 10 years. We are inundated with biscuits and chocolates at Christmas so we really are appreciated by our customers.”

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Responses to Pharmacist Invited To St James’s Palace For Her Community Service During Covid

  1. Wendy Lewis Reply

    May 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Great service from Guildford Chemist about time Smita has been recognised she makes you feel that you are in safe hands.

    Always makes time for you although she is so busy.

    Her husband has delivered my medication when I have been unwell,not many pharmacies would give the service she and her staff give.

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