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In The Spotlight – Leah Kempson

Leah is our amazing Admin Manager!

How long have you been working at Woodborough House?

10 years this month. So quite a long time!

I applied for the job when I was 21 as a maternity cover. At the time I was working for a food distribution company and I got made redundant there. I was looking for an admin role and this one came up. I was so pleased when Nick and Sarah kept me on after the maternity cover ended and I’ve been at Woodborough House ever since.

What is your role at Woodborough House?

My current role is Admin Manager, although up until very recently I’ve also been Treatment Coordinator for Nick, one of the specialists at the practice. At the moment I’m handing over the treatment coordination role to Laura. 

It’s difficult to describe what I do on a day-to-day basis because it’s so varied. My responsibilities include overseeing and managing the reception area of the practice and the reception team. I look after the staff and help them do their job well and I also look after our patients and help them with whatever they need. No day is the same. 

A good day is one where everything is running like clockwork, and both staff and patients are happy. There are also challenging days. For example during the Covid pandemic, staff absences had to be covered and often needed to be sorted out at the last minute. But we have such a great team that while it felt like a bit of a struggle at times, everyone mucked-in and came together to make things work for patients.

What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?

For me it’s all about the patients – especially working so closely with Nick’s patients over the years. I’ve really enjoyed being on the journey with them, from their first ever consultation to when they leave having had such transformational treatments. It really does change their lives. When they start with us they might have wobbly dentures or missing teeth, so they can’t eat or talk properly. Nick places implants for them and they are so much happier and more confident as a result and can finally eat and enjoy their food. It’s such a pleasure to see them feel so happy about themselves.

Have you had any particularly memorable experiences in your career?

There are some patients that, because they have had such big treatments and have been coming for such a long time, are like members of the Woodborough family. It’s those people that I remember. One lady recently finished treatments that had lasted over four years, starting with braces and then implants. She only finished a few weeks ago and came with gifts for us all. There’s a patient who came in today, she’s been coming to us for years and when I told her that I was pregnant,  it felt like telling my mum or my grandma!  They are like my family. I talk to these patients not just about dentistry, but all aspects of their lives. 

Where would you like your career to go next?

I am working towards becoming practice manager, that is my aim. I will be going on maternity leave later this year, but that is the longer-term plan. I have already started some training which is helping me to understand the role and how to deal with situations that will arise. I am really looking forward to a new challenge. It would be amazing to know that I’d started as a receptionist and had been able to work my way up all the way to practice manager!

What is it about the culture at Woodborough House that you like?

Sarah and Nick are really good bosses and they’re very appreciative of what you do. They also believe in us and look for opportunities to help us grow and develop. I’ve always been quite a shy person and they’ve always believed in me, more so than I’ve believed in myself at times! They’ve really helped me to get to where I am. In fact the whole team is very supportive of each other, that’s why I love working at Woodborough House so much.

How would you describe Woodborough House? (3 words)

Above And Beyond.

We do whatever it takes to help our patients.

How do you unwind outside of work?

I usually go home and watch TV. I like to catch up on my soaps. At the weekends I try to get out as much as possible seeing friends and family. The majority of my school friends still live in the area and we’re still in the same group. It’s amazing that we’ve been such good friends for so long.

What’s your favourite film or book?

Love Actually is my favourite film. I don’t get bored of it, although I’ve watched it so many times. I like a happy ending.

What’s your favourite meal?

Anything with fish. Probably prawn linguine. I only have it when I go out and particularly recommend the prawn linguine at Nino’s in Pangbourne. It’s a little Italian place and the food is delicious!

What was the last picture you took on your phone?

My dog. Well, actually it’s my Mum’s dog, called Crumpet. She’s a golden cockapoo. I love her. She’s so overprotective, she’s quite a big dog but she thinks she’s a lap dog. When you sit on the sofa, she’ll come and lie on you. She’s the cutest.

Who was your childhood hero?

My mum, because she was always there for us. In our teenage years she was someone I could talk to. She wasn’t strict but we knew the boundaries, so it was a good balance. ( I really hope to have that type of relationship with my children.) She lives around the corner from me, so I still see her a couple of times a week.