A Bradford pharmacist has described the “magical” moment he received his OBE for pioneering work across the globe.

Dr Mahendra Patel OBE was rewarded for his lifelong mission to tackle health inequalities through the pharmacy profession.

His accolades include improvements to type-2 diabetes prevention in South Asians, saving the NHS millions of pounds spent on wasted medicine, developing drug treatments to prevent hospitalisation from Covid-19, and much more.

He was honoured by Anne, Princess Royal, as part of a historic investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on October 12.

Dr Patel's OBE certificate for services to pharmacy was signed by the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Anne, the Princess Royal, led the OBE investitures on October 12. Pictures: PAAnne, the Princess Royal, led the OBE investitures on October 12. Pictures: PA (Image: PA)

It marked the first investiture ceremony since the Queen’s death and King Charles III taking the throne.

Describing the day, Dr Patel said: “The investiture was historic.

“She [Anne, Princess Royal] was such a warm genuine person that was interested in the work we’ve been doing.

"There’s nobody in the audience apart from your family.

“The way it was so individualised was so amazing.

“I was so happy but just very mixed. The work that I’d done, it’s really something. It was all coming together, a really special day.

“It all became a magical fairy tale moment that you couldn’t dream of.

“I was thinking, I’m so grateful, the people that have been with me, that have helped me to learn, to do things in a way that has been conducive for others, to actually be inspired by and to recognise and value.

“I bring it down to my upbringing, my family, my parents who are no longer with us. I bring it down to my faith, what Bradford has shown me.

“It’s family, culture, faith, it’s where I grew up, how pharmacy became the real stage for me to go into a direction I never ever imagined.

“My whole life span past me.

“I wasn’t nervous, I was in a reflective mood. I have to pinch myself to believe, have I really done this?

“It was the first time as a family we’ve been together in three years, my two children and my wife.”

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When asked what message he would share to young generations growing up in Bradford, he said: “You’ve just got to go with the belief in your heart - motivation, passion and determination to do it as fairly as possible. It’s about bringing people with you, rather than leaving people behind.

“With that belief leading you when the chips are down and learning from that as a positive to build on.”

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