A KNIGHTON-based pharmacist has been shortlisted in the Rising Stars category of the 2019 Womenspire awards organised by Chwarae Teg, Wales’ gender equality charity.

Rafia Jamil has reached the finals representing Powys for her outstanding contribution to the community and playing a huge role in improving patient care.

Rafia is one of four finalists in the Rising Star category of the awards.

She came to the UK as an overseas pharmacist and worked tirelessly to qualify as a pharmacist in the UK and has carried on since with her personal and professional development.

She has developed a close relationship with her local community, playing a big role improving patient care and volunteering support to her colleagues.

“I love my job and the community I work within. I have always been driven and a strong believer on gender equality and I think it is important to help women to reach their potential,” said Rafia.

“Employers need to support women to improve the skills they have to move ahead in their careers, and I hope women embrace any opportunities they are given to learn and develop new skills so that they can succeed and become leaders in the future.”

Rafia’s dedication has led to much recognition including winning the Welsh Pharmacy Award. During a brief period of four years her practice and learning based portfolio earned her faculty membership by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) of Great Britain.

She is now senior practice support pharmacist with the Powys Teaching Health Board. There she is developing a service in which pharmacy professionals are working in GP practices to improve patient care, appointment availability and patient safety.

She has worked closely with Knighton GP practice and the health board to provide a novel service for asthma patients which provided them with an opportunity to get their asthma reviews done in a pharmacy if they couldn’t get the appointment at a surgery or could not attend a surgery for any other reason.

Rafia also volunteers for pharmacist support and is a local coordinator for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to improve pharmacist engagement in the area.

When one of two GP practices closed in Knighton, Rafia worked in the remaining GP practice on her day off and supported the transfer of care for patients trying to avoid any delay in prescriptions.

As a result of her work she won the Welsh Pharmacy Award and was finalist for RPS awards and Clinical Pharmacy Congress Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the Womenspire awards recognise and highlight women’s remarkable accomplishments and contributions in every aspect of life.

“Womenspire is an awards ceremony like no other. It truly celebrates and showcases the talents, passions and accomplishments of Welsh women and aims to inspire future generations,” said Louise David from Chwarae Teg.

The awards ceremony will be hosted by Shan Cothi at St Fagan’s Nationa Museum of History in Cardiff on Thursday, July 4.