Further Improvements In After Care Set Up: Part 2
London Vision Clinic lead optometrist, Alexandra Lyons, fears that some people might think she is boring when she starts to enthuse about her work.
Happily it is easy to set her mind at rest: there is a world of difference between being “boring” and being “dedicated” and I can assure her that she definitely falls in to the latter category. And her enthusiasm for her chosen career is infectious.
“It is a matter of finding and assessing the problem during the pre-op appointments and allaying the patient’s concerns by answering any questions they might have.
“They will see their surgeon the day after the operation and the next time we meet is for the one-month appointment. By then everything is beginning to settle down and their sight problem has been solved.
“It’s fab to see their big smile!”
Last year a small crack in the London Vision Clinic’s aftercare system was spotted through listening to patient feedback. This has since been corrected and now – whenever possible – patients stay with the same optometrist for their entire journey – for all pre as well as post op appointments.
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“Obviously this is much better for the patients, who no longer find themselves having to re tell their story at each appointment.
“It also gives us the opportunity to provide an improved quality of care; we can assess how the surgery went with the background of our own pre-op findings. We can also really get to know our patients.”
Alexandra heads up a team of six other highly trained optometrists.
“In some clinics they might refer to my position as ‘senior’ or ‘principle’ optometrist but I am not keen on these titles because I have colleagues here who are more experienced than I am. However it could be said that I am the team leader – I like to lead – hence ‘lead’ optometrist.”
So what extra duties does the “lead optometrist” have?
“Part of my job is to smooth the interface between two professions – surgery and optometry.
“In addition it could be said that I also massage the working relationship between us and outside optometrists.”
Although most patients like to come back and see us after their surgery, occasionally – especially if they live a very long way away from London – they might prefer to see their family optometrist instead. In such cases it is essential that a good professional working relationship is maintained.
Although Alexandra has always enjoyed good eyesight and has never needed glasses, she knows that when this situation changes she will be a “rubbish patient”.
“I am hugely motivated to have good vision – I will be completely intolerant of any blur as soon as it occurs and will want it corrected immediately.
“I have never understood why anyone would put up with poor vision. It must be horrendous to wake up in the morning and not be able to see properly until you have found your glasses or put in contacts.