“A good team is always pulling in one direction”

Inside a West London practice that has been serving its local community for 40 years

“Each and every one of us here has the same values and the same goals,” Linda Menezes, practice manager at Ealing’s Hynes Optometrists, told OT when we visited in January.

She continued: “We all want to do what is good. We are hardworking people, and we want to give our best.”

It is a mantra that has served Hynes Optometrists well over the past four decades – of which Menezes has been present for three.

In the testing room is Joy Hynes, optometrist and practice owner alongside her husband, Colin.

For the practice’s 40th birthday, at the end of 2022, staff created a book for the couple, packed with messages from patients and those in the community.

A sense of belonging and community has made her business what it is, Joy Hynes said.

“Every single day we’re thinking, ‘how can we do this better?’” she told OT. “We’re always taking feedback from our patients, whatever the feedback is, to make it a better experience for them.”

Reflecting on 40 years of High Street business, Hynes added: “Through the ages, you’re always going to have people who want service, and who want exceptional care. I want that, and that’s what I’m giving to my patients.”

This dedication is paying off: the existing patient-base still includes one-time residents who have moved away, including to Switzerland, France and Scotland, Menezes said, adding: “It’s nice to know that people value us.”

Hynes praised her 12-person team as the cogs that keep the business functioning successfully.

A good team can only pull in one direction, she believes – and she sees herself, despite being in charge, as just as much a member of staff as anyone else.
She shared that if she goes out for a pint of milk for the practice it might take her two hours, because so many people in the community want to stop and chat.

“I love my job,” Hynes said. “That’s the bottom line.”

She added: “I don’t have to work at it. I come to work, and it’s going to be another great day. Coming to work is really not an issue for me, at all. I love it.”