Pharmacy scoops award in wake of arson attack

WIN Pharmacy of the Year winners Rowlands Pharmacy with sponsors Portsmouth Cultural Trust chief executive Andy Grays and head of marketing Marelize De Beurs. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123090-9939)
WIN Pharmacy of the Year winners Rowlands Pharmacy with sponsors Portsmouth Cultural Trust chief executive Andy Grays and head of marketing Marelize De Beurs. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123090-9939)
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A pharmacy which rose from the ashes to ensure patients got their medicine has scooped a healthcare award.

When the Rowlands Pharmacy building, in Waterlooville, was ravaged by fire last September, it was forced to close down.

DEVASTATION The scene of the fire in Lavender Road, Waterlooville. 'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves  (113312-9)

DEVASTATION The scene of the fire in Lavender Road, Waterlooville. 'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (113312-9)

But to make sure patients were not left without their vital medicine or medical advice and support, staff from the Lavender Road store set up shop in a portable building.

Scores of people put the team forward, and on Friday they were triumphant winners in the Pharmacy of the Year category at this year’s Best of Health Awards 2012.

Jubilant pharmacist Clare Hoy said: ‘We were so overwhelmed and chuffed to have won.

‘Support from customers has been great and they always praise us and the surgery we have the cabin in.’

Rowlands Pharmacy was one of several buildings damaged in a suspected arson attack last year.

But only two days after the fire, staff set up a makeshift pharmacy in a hut in the car park of Stake Lodge Surgery.

Clare added: ‘We have built a really good relationship with the surgery and our patients.

‘Working in the cabin can be hard at times. When it’s hot you are sweltering and when it’s cold you can really feel it too.

‘But the patients are definitely worth it and they experience the temperature change with us and are very sympathetic.

‘We work hard and we’re a good team, so it’s nice to be recognised.’

There were many nominations from this pharmacy, including one from Tony Fenlon.

Mr Fenlon, of Vian Road, Waterlooville, said: ‘The staff here are always cheerful, helpful and professional.

‘And this is even more so in the face of adversity after their shop burnt down.’

A new building is expected to be ready by May next year, but until then patients will continue to get their medicine from the temporary building.

Taking second spot in this category was Lloyds Pharmacy, in Fareham.