Bristol pharmacist recognised for services with MBE has mixed emotions about the term ‘Empire’

The pharmacist said the award should be about ‘celebrating others’

A renowned Bedminster pharmacist has been awarded an MBE after making it onto the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2021.

Ade Williams was recognised for his services to the NHS and the South Bristol community, particularly during the pandemic, with an Order of the British Empire medal.

Having been a community pharmacist since 2003, Mr Williams is now the lead pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy and a Director and Superintendent Pharmacist of the M J Williams Pharmacy Group.

He told BristolWorld he felt a mix of emotions when finding out he was receiving the MBE.

“Community Pharmacy is part of the NHS. What I do is what everyone, most especially our less visible, non-clinical colleagues do.

“We offer our best daily, beyond any job description to caring for, protecting and enhancing life and dignity.”

But Mr Williams added: “The term “Empire” can speak of the painful past or relate to the society we are building today.

“The award offers an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate others - moving the spotlight from me.”

Mr Williams emphasised the importance of community during the pandemic and describes the people of South Bristol as ‘generous’.

“There have been so many examples of the generosity of spirit such as people who have taken breaks from home-schooling and their own lives to stand in the cold for hours to welcome people for their vaccination or deliver prescriptions,” he said.

“It is ever humbling to see. Our story is that when we work together, contributing our little good, great things can happen for everyone.

“This represents the community and the NHS at its very best. I have a wonderful privilege contributing to both.”

Pharmacists make up the third-largest group of NHS clinicians after nurses and doctors, and during the pandemic, Williams said he had seen ‘a greater awareness of the diverse and irreplicable role pharmacy plays and the depth of commitment to look after our communities by working inpartnership with other NHS Primary Care Colleagues like GPs’.

“The universal ethos that drives Community Pharmacy forward in the NHS is that our communities are our families,” he added:

“The trust they place in us means we seek to address intractable challenges such as health inequalities, vaccine hesitancy, improving access and equity through better clinical models.

“The last years have shown the scale of the work needed even in Bristol.

“It is, therefore, most important to me that I am part of the solutions to address these challenges successfully.”