Winner: Sinead McGurk Opticians
For this Northern Ireland-based independent opticians, its relocation, bespoke redesign and focus on branding have all contributed to its successful growth
Originally established in 2002, its relocation in May 2016 enabled Sinead McGurk Opticians to offer an enhanced patient experience that focuses on putting the patient first at every stage of the eye care journey.
From the technology that it has in the examination room, to the niche eyewear selection and customer service, owner, Sinead McGurk, considered everything, with the importance of the patient journey emphasised to the architect to ensure a seamless flow on a daily basis.
Ms McGurk describes the practice as spacious with a stylish interior. “It exudes an aura of calm, and gives the client confidence that we are professional, and can deliver our services with flair,” she said.
“The examination room is well-equipped, but uncluttered,” the optometrist shared, highlighting that investment in technology saw the practice become the first in Northern Ireland to have a Grafton EasyScan with advanced SLO technology.
Ms McGurk emphasises that the practice’s “small but dedicated team” are “outstanding.” They develop a professional relationship with clients in a friendly, welcoming manner, ensuring that they can fulfil their requirements with products and services, whilst paying attention to detail at all times, she said.
“It exudes an aura of calm, and gives the client confidence that we are professional”
Finalist: Bowen Opticians
Bowen Opticians is extremely customer focused and likes to be visible in the community so it can make a difference.
Investing in the patients that visit the independent practice is important for optometrist and owner Fiona Bromsfield. As a result, the practice takes measures to build rapport with patients, which it feels is reflected in the atmosphere and includes a dedicated member of staff whose role it is to ensure that the patient journey is gold standard.
Staff also regularly give talks about the importance of eye care to children through school assemblies and, more recently, nursery visits. In 2017, it became the first practice in England to be recognised as autism-friendly.
Finalist: Specsavers Opticians – Specsavers Opticians on Market Street, Guernsey
Working in a practice in a remote location, staff at Specsavers Opticians, Market Street Guernsey are passionate, dedicated and committed to the local community.
Being engaged with the local community inside and outside of the practice setting is important, optometrist and practice director, Sarah Burchett, emphasises. The store achieves this through its support of local charities such as the Guernsey Blind Association (GBA), Guernsey Macular Society (GMA), Living Streets Guernsey, and Guernsey Chest and Heart, regularly attending and presenting their meetings.
Educating patients of all ages, staff also routinely provide school talks about eye anatomy and visual processing, and host discussions around optical illusions.