A new award has been launched to honour the ‘bravery and dedication’ of pharmacists who have died while ‘actively practising’.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has announced nominations are now open for its newly-created Daniel Thomas Award, which recognises pharmacists or pharmaceutical scientists who lost their lives while working under the ‘most difficult or challenging circumstances’.

The award is in memory of Daniel Thomas, a pharmacist who died during the First World War in 1917, while working in an infirmary tent for the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Its launch follows the deaths of many health professionals, including pharmacists, who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic while practising.

Claire Anderson, RPS president, said: ‘Pharmacists work incredibly hard to ensure patients get the medicine they need to keep well and many do so while putting their own lives at risk.

‘Many pharmacists who worked during Covid-19 gave their lives after contracting the virus at work.

“We want to honour the bravery and dedication of pharmacists who, like Daniel Thomas and those who worked during the pandemic, tragically lost their lives while at work.’

The award is open to any RPS member who has died while ‘actively practising’ since 15 April 1841 - the date the RPS was created - and has been described by the organisation as its ‘official honour’.

Paul Bennett, chief executive of RPS, said the award represented the ‘bravery that pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists have displayed for centuries’.

'Pharmacists continue to put patients first and this award honours those from the past who risked their own lives doing so,’ he added.

Nominations for the Daniel Thomas Award are open until 1 November 2023. Recipients of the award will be announced at the annual RPS conference in November, and families will also be given a personal letter and card acknowledging their loved one’s dedication to the profession.