Raj Modi, the pharmacist who helped hundreds of people in Whaley Bridge during the August crisis in which a local dam threatened to burst and wash away the village, has been recognised for his heroism.
Local patients hailed Mr Modi as a hero for his prompt action, which included setting up collection points for patients to pick up their medicines and sharing his personal phone number with local radio stations and community social media pages so people could get in touch with him.
The pharmacy fell in the evacuation zone, but Mr Modi recognised the need for people to have their regular supplies of drugs, so he hand-delivered medication needed by his most vulnerable patients. He relocated his store team, who were keen to lend a hand during the evacuation, to a neighbouring Well Pharmacy to deal with urgent patient queries, and ensure everyone continued to get their medicines, including local care homes.
Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Bruce Warner visited Mr Modi at Well Pharmacy in Market Street Whaley Bridge today to praise him for his response to the crisis.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Dr Warner said: “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."
Days of being battered by thunderstorms and floods saw a section of the dam wall crumble as the 300 million gallon reservoir beside Whaley Bridge reached dangerously high levels. Half a month’s rain fell in one day alone and there were fears the dam, situated just yards from hundred of homes, could collapse and wash away the village and everything else in its path.
Around 1,500 of the village’s 6,455 residents were evacuated by the emergency services and many were not allowed to return for days, having to stay in a local hotel or seek refuge with family and friends.
Professor Stephen Powis, England’s medical director, commented: “Many people fled the flooding leaving behind most of their possessions including essential medical supplies, and Mr Modi’s actions to go above and beyond have helped his residents stay safe and well.
Mr Modi said his aim had been to bring "some calm to the situation by making sure people were not worried about their medication".
He added: “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.