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Sam Queen

Sam Queen was the winner of the Innovation category at the Recognition of Excellence Awards 2023.

Sam Queen
Right Medicine Pharmacy, Carronshore
Innovation Award

Sam Queen [centre, pictured with Julian Downing, left, digital director of The Pharmacy Network and Monica West, editor of Training Matters, right] has been the prescription delivery driver for Right Medicine Pharmacy in Carronshore for the past three years. But to the people of the community, he is so much more than that, according to Right Medicine Pharmacy COO, Richard Stephenson, who nominated him for this award. “During a difficult pandemic for healthcare, but also patients,” he explains. “Sam and his wife Lorna decided to try and make a difference to the community, and it still carries on to this day.” 

A team effort

“When we moved three years ago, my wife had just retired,” says Sam. “She suggested that we could do something together for the community, because we are very fortunate people, we both have our health. Lorna said old people will not make soup for themselves, so she started to make soup and I’ve been delivering it for nearly three years now. I take out somewhere between 15 and 20 soups a day every day and drop that round with the prescriptions. 

“It’s an absolute thrill to hear when I go to the door. They’re not interested in their prescription; they just want the soup! So honestly, it’s absolutely fabulous. And I’ll talk them up. I’ll tell them something like their hair looks nice to keep their spirits up. I see them every day, Monday to Friday.” 

The X Factor

Not content with supporting patients across the town by delivering them a hot lunch every day, Sam also endeavours to help the spirits of the healthcare staff he encounters on his travels. 

“I’m quite a happy kind of guy most of the time,” he says. “I sing songs, I started with just one or two surgeries, I would give them the song and they would try and tell me who sang it. Before I knew it I was getting another two or three surgeries who were all saying the same thing, ‘Sam I hear you sing a song for a competition’.

“Now there’s 10 and they all compete against each other every single day. It’s absolutely fabulous. I’m running out of songs at this point! Me and my wife sit down at night, and we select a category. We’ve got pop groups this week, it’s female groups next week. It’s just to cheer everybody up and believe me it is working! I love it.”

Like the TM team, the judges were incredibly impressed with Sam’s RoE entry. “Every pharmacy needs a Sam! When it’s hard work in the pharmacy with lots going on, we all need a cheerful song (and a cup of soup in the colder weather),” says Mike Holden, associate director at Pharmacy Complete. Richard Dunne, senior manager pharmacy learning and development at Boots UK, agrees, “Sam demonstrates how community pharmacy is a team effort with the critical role played by our delivery drivers each and every day.”

“This nomination made me smile and brought a tear to my eye,” adds APTUK president, Claire Steele. “It’s so easy to forget that the simplest things can make a huge difference to people’s lives and in doing so their health. Well done Sam!”

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Recognition of Excellence