Community pharmacist from Marlow COVID Vaccination Centre among those celebrated by Prince of Wales

Olivier Picard meeting the Prince of Wales at the reception event

A Community Pharmacist who set up a COVID vaccination clinic in Marlow, working tirelessly with his team to deliver tens of thousands of jabs to the public, was among those honoured by the Prince of Wales at a special celebratory event.

Prince Charles thanked community pharmacy teams across the nation for their ‘marvellous’ efforts in providing patients with essential support during the pandemic. The reception event was hosted at St James’ Palace earlier this month, to mark the recent centenary of the National Pharmacy Association.

The first Community Pharmacist guest to speak to the Prince at the event was Olivier Picard, who established the Marlow COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic based at Globe Park in January 2021. Over the next 12 months, Olivier and his team of around 100 vaccinators and 400 volunteers worked tirelessly to vaccinate as many people in the community as possible.

Prince Charles also paid tribute to the great work done by community pharmacists outside of the COVID pandemic at the reception event, commending their “friendly and reassuring presence in our communities.”

He told attendees: “I very much hope that this evening’s event will help, a little bit, to highlight the marvellous work you do in your communities day in and day out.”

The Prince added that the diversity among the profession’s workforce was “inspiring” and spoke of how thousands of individual stories about immigration into the United Kingdom were woven into the history of the community pharmacy, and what a positive impact this has had.

Olivier, who manages Newdays Pharmacy, a small group of independent pharmacies based in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, said: “This was a very humbling experience, and one I will never forget. I came to the UK as an economic migrant 22 years ago with a small bag over my shoulders. I have built a business through hard work, long hours and have met incredibly supportive people along the way.

“The recognition given to the Community Pharmacy profession by Prince Charles over the course of the evening is among the proudest achievements of my professional career. It was a privilege to be among so many incredible pharmacist colleagues on the night, who have been delivering outstanding service in their communities for decades. They have all especially stepped up over the last two years, as have so many dedicated healthcare professionals and volunteers, working long hours to deliver millions of COVID vaccinations and save thousands of lives.”