About Cobham Pharmacy
At Cobham Pharmacy, our aim is to understand your health needs and incorporate medications and treatments into your life as easily as possible.
Having played a crucial role in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020, the staff at Cobham Pharmacy are not only celebrating their first year of business, but the success of adapting care and services for its community in extraordinary times.
When pharmacist and first-time business owner, Navneet Sandher, took over the running of Cobham Health Centre’s pharmacy, she could never have foreseen the year that was in store for her. After just two months, she was alerted to what would become a global pandemic, ‘Coronavirus’, and dramatic changes to both business practices and medication demand threatened to overwhelm the small outlet located in the heart of the Surrey village.
‘At the beginning of 2020, my concern was the same as any new management – to retain the trust of people who use the pharmacy and reassure them that we were there for them,’ recalls Navneet. ‘When Coronavirus hit, the health centre we operate in had to close its doors, so we started operating from our only window, a bit like a drive-through.’
Navneet, who moved to the area with her husband in order to run Cobham Pharmacy, soon found herself in the centre of community activity, meeting a variety of new people and organisations.
‘There was a sudden surge in demand, the phone was ringing off the hook and soon we had bare shelves. As well as fulfilling prescriptions and trying to keep our patients calm, the team was sourcing healthcare products from all over the country, serving customers visiting from far beyond the local community, and managing a huge number of home deliveries.’
‘Rev. Kim Plumpton from Churches Together immediately got in touch and supplied us with two extra volunteer delivery drivers a day which massively increased our capacity and gave us real hope that, as a community, we would get through these testing times.’
‘We wanted to deliver to all shielding patients, were having to manage transactions over the phone, and on the first day of Lockdown, I had one member of staff isolating and another starting her maternity leave.’
A new Dispenser and Trainee Technician, Marisa Carey was welcomed to the team, while Mashiyat Choudhury, went from part-time locum to full time position of Trainee ACT and a new pharmacist, Timmy Mastropoulous, was employed to help meet the growing increase in activity.
‘There is no way we could have coped without every member of the team going far beyond their duties with constant professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm. As we found more stock, we set up tables to accommodate the thousands of extra items that customers requested, including hand-sanitiser we found for people who couldn’t. We even sourced and redistributed over 400 facemasks that had been hand sewn by one of our amazing volunteers and received donations for the Princess Alice Hospice which was really rewarding.’
With the space to reflect upon her first year as a business owner, Navneet is philosophical about all she and the team have been through.
‘It has been an exhaustingly steep learning curve, but we have developed a hugely capable, skilled, and robust team, built relationships with so many wonderful people and, from the hand creams, chocolates, and simple heartfelt ‘thank yous’ from grateful customers, we know people appreciated our efforts. I don’t think I could have asked for any more.’
Navneet is a Partner and the Lead Pharmacist at Cobham Pharmacy. You can read more about her professional history below.
Where did you study Pharmacy?
After completing my A-levels in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and English, I went on to study pharmacy for four years at Kings College London and graduated in 2015. I did a pre-registration year at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust’s Ealing Hospital and continued to work there before moving to St. Peter’s Hospital, an NHS district general hospital in Chertsey, in 2018. At the same time from 2018, I started to gain experience in community pharmacy with Lalys Pharmacies in Hampshire.
What made you want to be a Pharmacist?
I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and help people, really enjoyed science at school and became aware of pharmacy through family who helped me acquire Cobham Pharmacy.
What do you enjoy about being a Pharmacist?
I have always been a ‘people person’, so I enjoy interacting with customers, feeling like I am helping and supporting people when they may not be feeling their best, and problem-solving by finding solutions, sourcing products, or liaising with doctors and nurses in the wider healthcare team.
When did you start at Cobham Pharmacy?
I officially took over the pharmacy at Cobham Health Centre in December 2019 in partnership with ‘JCL UK Ltd’, who have 40 years’ of experience in the pharmacy sector, owning Lalys Pharmacies in Hampshire, and valuable wholesale capabilities. A pharmacy chain was selling a number of its locations, I looked at a few of them and Cobham was the one that appealed to me at the most.
Have you got any particular areas of interest/specialism?
Working in Cancer Services at St Peter’s Hospital for over a year was a hugely insightful and, at times, moving experience, but my ambition now is to provide the highest standard of pharmacy services in a community setting. Meeting such a variety of needs can be a challenge, but it is exceptionally rewarding when you feel a valued part of a local population.
Monday to Friday
08:30 – 19:00
Saturday & Sunday Closed
Cobham Healthcare Complex, 168 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1HT
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