How long have you been working at Woodborough House?
I started at Woodborough House back in August 2022 on a maternity contract. I came on board when the lovely Leah went on her maternity leave, and that’s when I joined as the Practice Manager.
What is your role?
As the Practice Manager, my main responsibility is to ensure the smooth operation of Woodborough House. I have a wide range of tasks that I handle to keep everything running effortlessly. Whenever there’s a problem or an issue that needs resolving, it usually comes to me, and I’m the person that is responsible for finding a solution. While much of my work happens behind the scenes, one of my main roles is to work closely with the reception team, to ensure the best patient journey and experience when patients visit us.
The patient journey refers to the entire process a patient goes through at our practice, starting from their arrival in the car park, how they are greeted when they enter the reception area to their interactions with clinicians – whether it’s for a check-up, treatment, or a session with the hygienist. It’s all about the communication, follow-up, and really, the whole experience. We work as a team to ensure a seamless and flawless experience. Our aim is to create a warm and welcoming ambiance from the moment a patient walks through our door. We want our patients to feel supported, valued, and part of our family throughout their entire journey with us, from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave.
I manage the various processes and protocols that are essential for the practice’s smooth functioning. By coordinating with different teams at Woodborough House, I help ensure a well-organised practice and maintain the flow of operations.
What I do is all part of going the extra mile for our patients, making them feel valued and supported. It’s all rooted in our core values, treating the person, not just their teeth. We strive to ensure that every interaction is positive and provides a well-rounded experience. Behind the scenes, it takes a lot of effort from everyone involved to deliver this seamless and exceptional care. It’s a job with great responsibility, managing numerous strands, and juggling multiple tasks. I spin a lot of plates!
What is your background and your journey to where you are now?
Coming from a corporate background, I have quite a few years of experience in operations management, strategic coordination, and overseeing corporate office structures. While I don’t have a medical background, this perspective allows me to bring a fresh outlook to my role here. In my previous jobs, I’ve worked in companies of various sizes, where I focused on building efficient processes and ensuring effective operations. This is also a significant aspect of my role here at Woodborough House. With the rapid growth of the practice, I’ve been collaborating with the team to formalise processes so that we can provide the best possible service for patients. We are striving for even more consistency and taking our processes to the next level.
The Woodborough House job caught my eye as I was relocating to Didcot to move in with my partner. Initially, I was considering finding a job in London and commuting from there, however, I decided to explore opportunities in the Oxford or Reading area which would be closer to my new home. When I saw the job advert, I found it intriguing as it offered a new challenge and a change from my previous roles. I had an evening interview with Sarah and Nick, expecting it to be a quick 30 to 45 minutes however, it turned into a 2.5-hour conversation because we connected so well. The rest, as they say, is history!
What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?
I love that no day is the same – there is constant variety and the opportunity to learn something new every day. Each day brings unique experiences and challenges. I’ve learnt so much about dentistry in the last few months it’s incredible, there is always something to get my teeth stuck into and expand my knowledge. I am really fortunate to be surrounded by amazing colleagues who are generous in sharing information and their expertise. Being in a new industry, everything feels fresh and is constantly evolving. It’s amazing!
Where would you like your career to go next?
I definitely want to stay working in the industry and for Woodborough House. I’m passionate about helping Woodborough grow and achieve our aspirations for the next five years. I want to continue to learn more and improve the way we work, and I really want to support Sarah and Nick achieve their vision of continuing to be at the forefront of digital dentistry to enable us to deliver the best possible care for patients. Sarah and Nick’s commitment to development and staying at the cutting edge of their field is inspiring.
I genuinely enjoy working with the team here, it’s been a pleasure so far. I feel valued as a team member and I feel appreciated. It’s been challenging at times, of course, but I am delighted to be here. I truly love my job.
What is it about the WH culture that you like?
I like that we genuinely embody our values here. I’ve been in places where values were just empty words that nobody actually practised but a Woodborough House, we live and breathe our values. We all have a strong sense of integrity and we prioritise honesty and transparency. We proudly uphold our values, and I believe that’s vitally important.
The team here is incredibly important to me as well. We work collaboratively across our different teams and departments and everyone supports each other. The working environment is genuinely enjoyable and it’s the team that make that.
How would you describe WH in 3 words?
How do you unwind outside of work?
I have a fair few hobbies (I can’t sit still!) I play a lot of rugby. I’ve been playing rugby for years, starting back in university and continuing since. It’s a fantastic stress reliever, keeps me fit, and benefits my physical and mental well-being; training twice a week and playing matches on Sundays. It does mean that sometimes on a Monday morning I come into work feeling a bit battered and bruised! But it’s all part of the game, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I also have a passion for crocheting and baking – which are very contrasting to rugby! I particularly enjoy baking. Recently, I took on the challenge of making my niece’s birthday cake – a black buttercream chocolate cake with neon drips. It was a tough brief, but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
What’s your favourite film or book?
My favourite film is ‘Play it Forward’. It’s a tragically underrated film and an odd pick for a natural pessimist. It’s very early noughties and definitely a product of its time but there is just something about it that is so uplifting. The whole message of the film is that in times of hopelessness, there is hope. That there is hope for humanity and the smallest thing can have the biggest impact. It’s the only movie that has made me cry in recent years.
What’s your favourite meal?
My favourite meal depends on the day, but if this was a death row meal I’d start with a cocktail, which would be an Espresso Martini. Then I’d choose deep fried brie with redcurrant jelly with a side salad as my starter. I’d have a very large, very rare steak with fried onions, homemade chips and some veggies for my main course. Finally for dessert, I’d pick my mum’s treacle sponge pudding.
What was the last picture you took on your phone?
It’s a picture of me and my rugby team before we went and watched the England women’s team play at Twickenham a few weeks ago. The match not only had record breaking attendance at a women’s rugby game, England retained the Six Nations title and won the Grand Slam, so all in all, it was a great day for women’s rugby!
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