The Duchess of Cornwall met one of Brighton and Hove’s leading pharmacists during a royal visit yesterday (Tuesday 30 March).
The duchess, also known as Camilla Parker Bowles, met Hannah Clarke, the Brighton area manager of Kamsons Pharmacy.
Mrs Clarke is a frontline pharmacist who has worked in every branch of Kamsons in Brighton throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The royal visit highlighted the work of pharmacies throughout the pandemic – and Kamsons, with nine branches across Brighton and Hove, is one of the biggest in the area.
Pharmacies were one of the only healthcare providers whose doors remained open to the general public throughout the past year, the company said.
Mrs Clarke undertakes regular clinics, testing people’s blood and adjusting the dosage of their warfarin blood-thinner tablets for patients visiting Kamsons in Moulescoomb and at 175 Preston Road.
The duchess was also told about Mrs Clarke’s work as the clinical lead for a forthcoming pharmacy-based covid vaccination clinic that Kamsons will be opening next month in Brighton.
The royal visit – to the Kamsons head office and warehouse in Uckfield – was also a chance to thank some of the unsung heroes whose work behind the scenes keeps chemists able to operate.
Staff told the duchess about the pressures of working in pharmacies throughout the pandemic, such as the unprecedented demand for prescription delivery.
They told her that every single branch of Kamsons had remained open throughout the pandemic despite the additional pressures.
Kamsons director Bharat Chotai said: “We were delighted to welcome the Duchess of Cornwall.
“She took a genuine interest in our staff who have continued to serve their local populations throughout the last year in extremely difficult circumstances.
“We are also very proud of the loyalty of our staff and are delighted that their contribution has been recognised by Her Royal Highness.”
Kamsons Pharmacy is an independent family-owned chain of pharmacies, founded by Bipin and Bharat Chotai and their late brother Piyoosh, who died last year.
The family came to England as refugees from Uganda in the 1970s.
In 1979, Bipin opened their first pharmacy in Uckfield High Street and now, over 40 years later, the company has grown to 77 pharmacies and employs nearly 1,000 people.
Their father was called Kamarshi which is why they named their pharmacies Kamsons.
The company is based mainly in Sussex but has branches in Kent, London, Surrey, Hampshire, Luton, West Yorkshire, Manchester – and this month a new branch opened in Dorset.
The company said: “The pharmacies all have a clean, clinical-look and concentrate on providing a range of services to the NHS while providing excellent service to customers including a free prescription delivery service from each pharmacy.”
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