A local pharmacist has been hailed a hero after he hand-delivered medicines to patients during the Whaley Bridge dam crisis.
Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer for England, Dr Bruce Warner visited pharmacist Raj Modi last week (3 October) in recognition of his ‘heroism’, NHS England said.
In August, a section of the Toddbrook dam in Derbyshire, which has a 300m gallon reservoir behind it, crumbled after heavy rains.
Around 1,500 of Whaley Bridge village’s residents were evacuated by the emergency services due to fears that the village would be washed away.
Mr Modi, who works for a Well Pharmacy branch located in the evacuation zone, helped ‘hundreds’ of people by hand-delivering medicines to his most vulnerable patients and setting up collection points, NHS England said.
He also shared his personal phone number with local radio stations and community social media pages so people could get in touch with him, they added.
‘Above and beyond’
Professor Stephen Powis, England’s medical director, said: ‘Raj embodies the best of the NHS, which is there for people come hell or, in this case, high water. Many people fled the flooding leaving behind most of their possessions including essential medical supplies and Raj’s actions to go above and beyond have helped his residents stay safe and well.’
Dr Warner said: ‘I’m pleased to be able to thank Raj personally for his inspiring work and he and his whole team deserve to be recognised, not just for their acts during the dam crisis but for their essential work day in day out.
‘It’s clear Raj really cares about his patients and the local community, putting his own safety to one side to care for those who needed it most at a very difficult time, and representing the values of the NHS, providing excellent care, clinical advice and support with medicines all year round.’
‘My pharmacy team were brilliant’
Mr Modi said he was ‘humbled’ by the response to his actions and thanked the NHS for their ‘lovely messages’ and support during the crisis.
He said: ‘I simply wanted to try my best to help and support everyone that I could, while bringing some calm to the situation by making sure people were not worried about their medication.
‘My pharmacy team were brilliant – they all got in touch with me offering their help and support. We have a special bond with the people in our community, so it felt like the obvious thing to do for all of us and we’re pleased our actions could help so many.’
The pharmacy team used a neighbouring Well branch to deal with urgent patient queries and helped Mr Modi ensure that patients in local care homes had continued access to their medicines, NHS England said.
Mr Modi added: ‘I’m very proud to be a healthcare professional and believe our health service is one of the best in the world, full of people who would’ve done the exact same thing in my position.’