As Clinic Manager, Sue oversees the day-to-day operations of our clinics in Liverpool and Chester. Managing and coordinating the clinic teams, she plays a crucial role in ensuring that her patients receive the best possible care when they come to Optical Express.
Working closely together with all members of her team, Sue is responsible for maintaining standards of patient care throughout every step of their journey, from the initial consultation all the way through to when they are discharged after surgery. This involvement in the patient journey is one of Sue’s favourite things about her role, as it allows her to witness on a daily basis the life-changing benefits vision correction can have. “Once you have been on that journey with a patient and you see the outcome, it’s mind-blowing,” she explains.
Playing an integral part in their journey means that Sue is able to build strong relationships with her patients, and receives first-hand feedback after treatment. “The best thing they do when they come in after the day of surgery is to say ‘I never realised there was that line on the television on BBC News!’ or ‘Do you know how bright traffic light are?’”, she says. Some of her fondest memories at Optical Express are those of patients finally getting to experience visual freedom, and being able to play a part in this is the most rewarding aspect of her role: “I had a patient say ‘I’ve been able to read a letter for the first time without my glasses’, it’s just lovely.”
One of the key responsibilities within Sue’s role as Clinic Manager is to ensure that patients are advised on the most appropriate and suitable solution for their vision correction needs. As Optical Express is committed to leading the way in environmentally-conscious eye care, she also encourages her team in raising awareness about the environmental impact of the vision correction choices patients make on a daily basis. “The important thing is that people aren’t necessarily aware of the damage that contact lenses are having. Once you start to explain to a patient the damage that it is causing to the environment, and to themselves, they really do want to be free of them.”
During her time with us, Sue has been delighted with the training and development opportunities that have been available to her: “I’ve gone on lots of courses to develop my knowledge and I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been chosen to become part of the Management Development Programme.” Liaising with and coordinating between different teams also allows her to continuously learn from a team of professionals with a variety of experiences and skillsets, ranging from leading optometrists and ophthalmologists to the retail teams that support their local communities. “It’s very much learning from each other,” she says.
Realising that her own vision had started to deteriorate, Sue decided to opt for lens replacement surgery herself last year: “I was sat in the garden reading, and I couldn’t read the paper. I realised then that it was time to consider changing.” As an employee of Optical Express, she was able to benefit from a discount on her treatment as part of the rewards and benefits that are available to staff members. Experiencing the entire process first-hand has helped Sue connect with her own patients, and she feels fortunate to be in a position where she can offer them guidance and advice: “I spend most of my day now in and out of Patient Advisor’s rooms, telling patients just how amazing it is, what to expect from surgery, and just talking them through it.”
Sue’s advice to anyone considering a career with Optical Express is to go for it, commenting on the unique opportunities for personal and professional development that are available within the company. “We have a lot of experienced people that you will learn from. My son has just joined Optical Express, and I wouldn’t have put him forward for a career with a company that I didn’t believe in, and that isn’t going to take him further and develop him,” she says.