Paisley’s John-Paul Mackie is celebrating after clinching the Pharmacist of the Year title.

He was handed the accolade in the prestigious Independent Pharmacy Awards, during a lunch reception in the House of Commons recently.

John-Paul, who graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1994, was recognised after he impressed the judges with his adoption of robotic technology – which he credits with freeing up time for his staff to interact more with patients.

John-Paul – who owns seven Mackie Pharmacy sites, including Paisley’s Glasgow Road – was the only Scot in the running for the title.

He moved his Cardonald branch so he would have room to install the new technology to aid dispensing.

Awards organisers commended him, saying: “Few community pharmacists have embraced technology like John-Paul Mackie.

“He relocated Mackie Pharmacy 100 yards down the road to its current site in 2019 as larger premises were required for the introduction of dispensary automation with the installation of a BD Rowa robot.”

They added: “The MDS dispensing robot was integrated with a 24/7 prescription collection point to free up the 15 full time and 10 part time team members to concentrate on delivering other services.”

Now his efforts have landed him the title, run by the National Pharmaceutical Association and Independent Community Pharmacist magazine.

John-Paul, who was handed his award before an audience of MPs and leading figures from the pharmaceutical industry, told the Express: “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of my team for the great bravery and fortitude they have shown throughout the pandemic.

“It is recognition that robotic automation is the way forward to free up the time of Pharmacists and their teams to spend with patients and deliver quality patient care. We can no longer hide in the dispensary counting tablets when there is so much needing done to fix the current NHS backlog.”