Career Development Stories 

Kerry Dickinson, Care Coordinator

Having joined the Practice in 2015 as a Receptionist, I was then shortly promoted to Reception Supervisor which taught me about the patients’ needs and the ways to react and diffuse vulnerable situations. The role gave me more of an insight into the clinical side of the Practice and to also recognise that each employee is different and it is important to treat everyone as an individual and to support and communicate with all.

I implemented a persistent training schedule over the last 8 years for the Reception team and when I was offered the chance to join the nursing team, I only questioned one thing, and that was my age! I am currently working in post supporting the nursing team as a Care Coordinator since 2021 and I feel so proud that I strived to achieve more and am thankful for the medical staff for sharing their time and knowledge with me. I felt confident that my own skills combined with the job role gave me a fantastic foundation. I was given the opportunity to attend numerous training courses and I now run clinics and visit patients for dementia reviews. I still occasionally feel the need to ask for help if we have a patient that I cannot bleed but I feel this is ok as I am always greeted with support by the team at the Practice.

Since joining the Practice, I develop my skills every day. I am now trained to assist with chaperoning; I am able to sit in on clinics to further my skills and admire the nurses with all their knowledge and how hard they worked to get where they are is truly over whelming.  

Gemma Sanderson, Finance Lead

I started with the Practice 6 years ago. I worked next to the surgery for nearly 10 years in the pharmacy and always wondered what it would be like to work within a GP Practice. I started as a Receptionist and enjoyed the role and the chances I had to change the hours around my family and for the surgery. I had always enjoyed working with medicine, as my previous job was a pharmacy technician so when a job offer came within the Practice to move to the prescribing team I put my interest forward.

I worked within the prescribing team as one of the first members, as it was a new department that had been made to take the workload out of the reception area. I enjoyed this position but still wanted more from my work.

A position was advertised for a Nurse Administrator, and the description of the role suited what I was looking for. I applied and was given the position. With this role I could make it my own and worked with and alongside the nurse team to change the dynamics of the team. I started to work hard to make a really strong team that would help each other and want each other to progress. I was given the opportunity to complete the Edward Jenner leadership course and was promoted to Non-Clinical Nurse Manager.

Within the new management role I have completed a Level 5 Diploma in Primary Care and Health Practice management. I feel I am always able to talk and discuss expanding my knowledge or qualifications with the senior management and am grateful for the opportunities and progression they have given me within the practice. I now have progressed onto a senior management role and am the Finance Lead for the practice.

Charlotte Roddis, Senior Administrator and PA to Senior Management Team

Before working in primary care, I used to work at a Stone Bay School which specialised in providing both day and residential education for pupils who have a diagnosis of ASD, along with severe and complex learning needs. I left Stone Bay School after having my first born due to the hours not working around my family life and worked in a hair salon as a receptionist, after a couple of years I knew I wanted to get back into the care industry and a position as a receptionist became available at The Heron Medical Practice.

Since joining The Heron Medical Practice, I have moved to the administration department working 3 days a week as an administrator. When voicing that I wanted to develop and increase my working days The Heron Medical Practice have done nothing but support and encourage me in every way possible, from putting me on various training courses, allowing me study time and giving me extra responsibilities, such as becoming a Mental Health Champion. Allowing me to do this extra training has enabled me to now increase my working days and The Heron Medical Practice offered me a new position as the PA to the Senior Management Team alongside my administration role. I have been given all opportunities to enable me to progress my knowledge and skills and I am hoping to move further up the career ladder in the near future.

Steph Scarlett, Ophthalmology Services Manager

I started at Heron Medical Practice back in 2010 as a data entry clerk apprentice. I worked alongside the admin team helping with all the day-to-day administration duties, I attended college each month and after a year, I had gained a qualification in business studies.

Following my completion of my apprenticeship, I was fortunate to be employed as full time employee at the Heron.

When I started back in 2010, The Heron Medical Practice had been running general Ophthalmology clinics. At this point, I was helping with the general administration for these clinics. 

When I became a full time employee for The Heron, I became more and more involved with the Ophthalmology Clinics. In 2012, The Ophthalmology services expanded and started cataract surgery at the weekends, which to this date, is the only same day cataract service in the UK. 

Since then, the Ophthalmology services here at The Heron have continued to grow. In 2018, we started up our WAMD (WET Macular degeneration clinic) and in 2023 we started up our HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) service. With the growth of the services, it has meant that I have been given the opportunities to progress in my career – I am now currently Ophthalmology Services Manager overseeing the running of all 4 services, managing staff and also managing finance.

I have been given the opportunity to undertake training throughout my time here at the Heron including, ECLO (eye clinic liaison officer) training, team leader/supervisor level 3 apprenticeship and many more.

At present, the Ophthalmology Services run 4 successful services General Ophthalmology service, Cataract service, WAMD service and HCQ service. In total including clinical, non-clinical we employ 68 staff members and last year (2022-2023)

  • Cataract service performed 1,965 successful cataract surgeries
  • WAMD Service reviewed 1,792 patients
  • Ophthalmology service saw 3,574 patients
  • HCQ service only started in 2023 but to date we have screened 81 patients

I am very proud of the Ophthalmology services that we run here at The Heron Medical Practice and I look forward to growth of the services in years to come.