A pharmacist hailed as a “unsung hero of the health crisis” has been nominated as one of the favourite shops in the area.

The Watford Observer is running a love local business campaign and as part of this we are asking readers to nominate recipients for My Favourite Local Shop to highlight those who give excellent customer service or have gone the extra mile to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

JP Phamacy, in Owen Square, Watford, was proposed by reader Melanie Silver, who praised owner Jay Patel for being “always courteous, professional and willing to give advice”.

She said: “He is efficient, hardworking and knowledgeable. I feel pharmacists like him are unsung heroes of this health crisis and deserve recognition.”

Read More

Mr Patel, who has owned the pharmacy almost nine years, felt “very humble” to be nominated.

He said: “It is very nice to be recognised, but I am just doing my best as a community pharmacist. There are thousands of other NHS frontline workers in hospitals and care homes who are working at least as hard as me - and probably at greater risk.”

Apart from limiting the number of customers in his shop during the Covid-19 crisis, Mr Patel has tried to keep things as normal as possible, “not least because a lot of my regular patients are elderly and they need to know that their regular routines for collecting or receiving prescriptions and medicines have not changed”.

Mr Patel has kept his shop open throughout the pandemic and ensured that medication has been delivered to the door of all patients who have been shielding or self-isolating.

He said: “I am working these extra hours because of an increased work load which is largely the result of dealing with more prescriptions, many from outside my usual catchment area.

“However, I have ensured that nobody has to wait more than 24 hours for their medicines and that all my regular patients are not disadvantaged because of the extra work that I have had to take on.

“Excellent customer service is a huge part of my business and I would like to think that in that respect it is more that ‘nothing has changed’ rather than ‘going the extra mile.”

Do you have a favourite local shop that deserves recognition? Simply answer these questions and submit the form.

We'll feature as many as possible in the Watford Observer.