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Arunoday Lekkala

Meet the winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award and our overall Spotlight Award winner for RoE 2023!

Arunoday Lekkala
Victoria Pharmacy
Outstanding Contribution & Spotlight Award 

“Arun is one of the finest pharmacy technicians I have known and worked with for over 10 years,” began superintendent pharmacist, Abbas Dossa’s nomination for the accuracy checking technician. “Arun brings a smile to people’s faces and has a captivating quality of bringing all members of staff together.”

It seems the judges couldn’t agree more as not only did they award Arunoday the title of Outstanding Contribution, but they also named him our overall Spotlight winner.  

Starting from the bottom 

Arunoday started his career in pharmacy 15 years ago as a Saturday boy. “One of the pharmacists asked me if I’d like to do some training and continue working in the pharmacy,” he explains. “She put me on some courses and that’s how my journey began.”

After some time away working in hospital and prison pharmacies, Arunoday returned to community pharmacy in 2019, bursting with experience from all different areas and ready to share his newfound knowledge.

“During Covid times, I thought let’s not let any time go to waste, so I started my training to be a tutor for pharmacy students,” he says. “Now I assess pharmacy students who want to become Level 2 and 3 dispensers and pharmacy technicians. That is my journey in a nutshell, from a Saturday boy stacking the shelves to now, an ACT, qualified trainer and pharmacy manager.” 

Making a difference

It is not just his colleagues’ lives where Arunoday makes a difference, but his community too. A particularly touching example is the help he provided a disabled woman within the community. He explains: “She used to come into the pharmacy with her mother all the time. Her mother was very protective, so we only tended to communicate with her.”

Eventually, the patient’s mother trusted Arunoday enough to allow her daughter to come into the pharmacy by herself, as long as she could speak to him. “We started to have normal chats as well as talking about her medication,” he says. “I wanted it to progress so she had more independence, so I spoke to them both about transitioning so that the daughter receives emails about her prescriptions and can email me herself about her medication.”

This worked and soon the patient took on the responsibility for her medication herself. Such newfound independence had an effect across all aspects of her life, even leading to a job offer. “The mother spoke to me and thanked me because she said that it was because of the way I’d encouraged her daughter to take control of her own medication that she’d grown in confidence and independence enough to get a job,” says Arunoday. “She was so happy and that to me is the best part of the job, making a difference in people’s lives!”

Our judges were bowled over by the work Arunoday has put into his career and the way he inspires others. “Arun is a highly innovative, forward-thinking, passionate champion of clinical excellence in community pharmacy,” says Ade Williams MBE, lead pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy and RoE judge. Last year’s Spotlight Award winner, Nicole Tolkin, agreed, adding: “You can hear his passion through his words.”

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Recognition of Excellence