27 May 2020

Pharmacy Hero: A Tribute to Jayesh Patel

Pharmacy Hero: A Tribute to Jayesh Patel

Jayesh Patel worked as a locum community pharmacist in Surrey and South London. He sadly passed away on 22nd April at Epsom General Hospital having contracted COVID-19, aged 53 years. Smita Patel, owner of Guildford Chemist in Surrey, pays tribute to her co-worker and friend.

Jayesh graduated from Sunderland University and had worked within community pharmacy for over 25 years. He had been working at my pharmacy as a regular weekly locum pharmacist for 5 years and was an integral part of the team.

Jayesh (or Jay as he was known), had been a locum pharmacist for many years and in fact I met him over 20 years ago when we worked together as colleagues. He was so helpful to me in those early years so when I needed a regular locum pharmacist in my own practice fifteen years later, I of course asked him and was delighted when he said yes.'

To know Jay was to be in the presence of a real gentleman. Kind, caring, gentle and with a lovely patient manner, he loved his profession and took being a community pharmacist very seriously. He championed the profession, feeling that our skills weren't always recognised or valued but loved the fact that being a community pharmacist meant being an integral part of the local community. The patients loved him for that and because he was so good at making them feel secure and looked after. He was a true professional.

My team absolutely adored him and we have all been heartbroken by his sudden passing. He wasn't just a locum to us, he was a member of our 'pharmacy family' and we miss him dearly. He was a great friend and colleague with the most fantastic dry sense of humour. He was a fairly quiet man and we would all be quietly getting on with our work and then all of a sudden would crack the funniest joke and have us all in stitches. There aren't many co-workers like him!

He was also always the first to jump in and lend a hand. In fact, my lasting memory of him is when I popped in to the pharmacy on the last day he worked for me and he insisted that I leave immediately as I was supposed to be shielding at home. He was always so concerned for everyone else and their safety, putting the needs of all others before his own. 'A real selfless and wonderful person and I am personally devastated to have lost such a close friend and at such a young age.

He is survived by his wife Kanan and 2 beautiful daughters aged 16 and 19, all of whom he adored.

We will forever remember him as the good humoured and gentle family member he was to us and as the great pharmacist he was to everyone else; so well respected by his co-workers, patients and other healthcare colleagues.