Real Lives: Modest Pat ‘astonished’ by pharmaceutical prize

Bernard Stottelaar and Harry McQuillan present Pat Murray with her award
Bernard Stottelaar and Harry McQuillan present Pat Murray with her award
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Glitz and glamour is not something usually associated with the medical profession, but a Lothians professor certainly had her chance to shine at a recent awards ceremony.

NHS Lothian’s director of pharmacy, Professor Pat Murray, was presented with a top accolade at the Scottish Pharmacist Ball and Awards held in the Capital.

The prize – Outstanding Contribution to Pharmacy Practice – was presented to Pat, 59, from Inveresk, following three decades of dedication to the medical profession.

But when the award was about to be presented, Pat admitted she was convinced it was for somebody else.

She said: “I was very pleasantly surprised, or I think astonished is the word, as I had no idea it was coming.

“When Harry McQuillan, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, began to talk about the person who was getting the award, I actually wondered who they were talking about.

“Then when they went a little further on, I realised they were talking about me.”

Originally from Bonnyrigg, Pat is married to Lyall, 62, and has a son, Ross, 30, who works as an accountant in Toronto, Canada.

She began her studies at Heriot-Watt University, where she obtained a degree in pharmaceutical sciences.

Pat then went on to obtain an MSc in clinical pharmacy at the University of Strathclyde and a teaching diploma from the University of Leeds.

As director of pharmacy, Pat is responsible for the NHS Lothian Pharmacy Service, working with pharmacy colleagues and health and social care partners.

Pat is also Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (2002) and was last year made a Fellow of European Society of Clinical Pharmacy.

Modest Pat is, however, quick to credit others with helping her to fulfil her achievements.

She said: “Any form of recognition like that for individuals is always partly attributable to the people you work with, and I have been very fortunate to work with some of Scotland’s best, if not some of the UK’s best.

“I believe working in partnership is key to achieving success and ensuring patient safety is at the core of everything we do helps keep the focus.

“I look to my team to take things forward as much as myself.”

Speaking of the importance of such awards, Pat said: “It’s hoped that we continue to strive for improvement through our commitment to healthcare, and events such as this motivate staff to celebrate their successes as they reap the rewards of their efforts.”