Optical Assistant of the Year

Lisa Skelton has been awarded Optical Assistant of the Year 2017

Winner: Lisa Skelton

Optical assistant Lisa Skelton takes pride in maintaining her practice’s domiciliary service and making patients feel welcome wherever they are treated.

Lisa Skelton says that the best part of her role is building relationships with patients, explaining: “To be able to see a patient through their eye care journey and having them ask me personally for future dispenses or advice is a lovely feeling.”

She believes her ‘chatty’ personality helps to relax patients and advocates that simple measures, such as offering a smile and engaging patients in conversation, are the best way to create a welcoming experience.

Describing herself as actively committed to ensuring patient satisfaction, she makes follow-up calls to patients to ensure they are happy.

Responsible for maintaining the domiciliary services across three practices, Ms Skelton is dedicated to making sure that the needs of vulnerable patients in the community are cared for. Visiting patients at home, she takes care to ensure that disruption is minimal and that a wide selection of frames is available — so patients do not feel they are missing out.

Ms Skelton has been commissioned to provide minor eye care services: “I utilise my clinical knowledge to triage patients effectively, in addition to managing the administrative aspects of the work,” she says. Not afraid of a challenge, Ms Skelton’s most recent endeavour is to push forward a new comfort lens trial.

On top of her patient responsibilities, Ms Skelton follows the latest industry developments, saying: “Attending training sessions with our suppliers and reps keeps me up to date with the latest technology and promotions. I also enjoy reading all the literature that comes in to the practice.”

She also advocates utilising social media, both as a source of information and a way of communicating with patients, explaining: “By being active on our social media streams I have been able to see the latest trending developments in optometry. Consequently, I can pass this on to my patients — both through social media and in practice.”

Runners up

Finalist: Stacey Griffiths

Enjoying both the technical and communication sides to her role, Stacey Griffiths works within a small practice and is driven by patient satisfaction.

Committed to going the extra mile, Ms Griffiths aims to be on first name terms with patients and takes pride in seeking out bespoke solutions to provide a tailored patient experience.

Finalist: Tracey Dawson

Optical assistant Tracey Dawson is passionate about building rapport with her patients and meeting new clients.

Ms Dawson believes that keeping patients informed is central to providing a good service and has initiated better handovers between staff to ensure patients know they are being listened to. She says she aims to treat customers as she would like to be treated.