Sumit's story

Behind every one of our nutritional solutions there is a dedicated team of people whose mission it is to make the lives of patients and healthcare professionals, easier. #NutriciaLife

Gompels is Nutricia Homeward’s pharmacy partner. We spoke to Gompels’ clinical pharmacist Sumit Sharma about this long-standing relationship, why it works so well and how it benefits both patients and healthcare professionals.​

Gompels is a third-generation, family-run Community Pharmacy business based in Melksham, Wiltshire. Established in 1967, Gompels has been working with Nutricia since the inception of Nutricia Homeward in 1997. 

So we’ve been working together for more than 26 years, at the beginning of which Nutricia Homeward only had a couple of hundred patients. Now it’s over 30,000 - and Gompels has been integral to that growth. 

Nutricia Homeward helps people who have been discharged from hospital and living at home with a feeding tube. The role of the pharmacy, Gompels, is to support Nutricia Homeward in the ongoing management of tube feeding patients. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for healthcare professionals to care for their patients without having to worry about anything else. We ensure that medical nutrition is available and have many years of experience applying pharmacy law and governance to a large highly specialised home delivery Pharmacy. We ensure patients’ needs are always met, in the dedicated and  Professional way that you would expect from a Pharmacy.

As pharmacists, we can help patients if they’re experiencing side effects from a new treatment or we can explain to patients that what they are going through is normal or highlight if something needs to be discussed with their healthcare professional. Whatever the query, we’re always on hand to provide expertise and knowledge.

We pride ourselves on patient safety and have extremely robust procedures in place to ensure the correct product is always selected, and the correct quantity is always being dispensed to the patient. The goal is to guarantee a seamless transition for patients from hospital to home, so Gompels  Pharmacy and Nutricia Homeward work together to coordinate all the moving parts of the treatment plan that could otherwise disrupt that transition. Our joint expertise and close working relationship ensure that any issues are spotted immediately so we can get the patients’ treatment back on track as quickly as possible.

Underpinning the close working relationship between Gompels and Nutricia Homeward is a shared database called the PMR (Patient Medication Record), which incorporates all information relevant to patients into a dedicated customer service system. This means that any kind of change in treatment  - for example an increase or decrease in quantity, or an urgent change of feed - can be implemented rapidly 

This harnessing of technology in the context of the pharmaceutical industry is part of what led to Gompels Pharmacy winning the Pharmacy of the Year at the 2023 Business Pharmacy Awards. In our application from a Community Pharmacy perspective, we drew attention to the fact that we employ AI technology in our Pharmacy medicines system to perform automated drug dose and interaction checking on prescriptions, freeing up the Pharmacists time for the issues that really need it. We also use barcode scanning to ensure that there is never any mix-up of medications. We highlighted that we carry out 200 pharmacy consultation referrals per month from the NHS 111 helpline and GP Surgeries; which saves up to 200 appointments that GPs might otherwise have had to deal with. We offer a lot of private services like travel vaccines and ear microsuction which are very popular with Patients. So we’re very up to date and at the forefront of incorporating innovation and technology into patients’ treatments. 

Winning the award was a big boost to staff, and it was great for them to have all their hard work acknowledged. Patients have been taking notice too - we put a sticker up in the windows of our pharmacies - and a lot of them mention that they agree we’re Pharmacy of the Year! It’s really rewarding when our patients recognise how much we pride ourselves on our work, and I think it helps patients feel more secure and confident in the treatment they receive from us as well. 

It’s such an honour to be able to share our clinical knowledge and expertise with Nutricia, and it’s a testament to the success of our partnership that we have been working together in perfect harmony for 26 years now. It feels so good to know that our knowledge and expertise goes towards helping patients and that we’re really making a difference in patients’ day-to-day lives. It’s an immense source of satisfaction to know that everything we do behind the scenes plays a part in making the incredibly important work of Nutricia Homeward run smoothly.