Dedicated HR specialists supporting optical practices
Optical practices face many unique challenges in comparison to other sections of the health care sector. Opticians are highly regulated whilst at the same time operating in a very competitive market where patients demand quality and choice without delay.
Approximately 20 million eye sight tests are carried out every year with very few resulting into any problems or complaints. However, balancing the burden of regulation with the need to provide a quality service to high numbers of people can be difficult.
The Association of British Dispensing and the Optical Confederation
The Association of British Dispensing and the Optical Confederation both provide guidance on standard HR issues but neither is able to provide the level of support needed for independent practitioners to run a successful practice.
PeoplepointHR have dedicated HR and employment law specialists who support optical practices (both independent and franchises) with all areas of managing a practice including:
- Compliance with regulations such as The NHS (National Health Service), PCT (Primary Care Trust), Department of Health and the G.O.C, (General Optical Council)
- Management of all employees including locums
- Implementation of customer care and quality initiatives
- Attainment of best practice standards
Managing employees is a key area of concern for all types of optical practices due to the risks caused by dealing with large numbers of patients which can lead to poor customer service or more seriously providing poor clinical advice to patients.
Complaints and dismissals
This could result in a patient making an official complaint to the employer which may result in dismissal of the employee or if the complaint is made to the GOC the employees’ fitness to practice could be called into question.
This impacts both the organisation and other members of staff due to a loss of reputation or customers and the demotivation of staff – especially if they believe that commercial concerns are being given undue priority over professional responsibility.
Some of the key policies that all optical practices should have in place are:
- Complaints procedure
- Risk management policy
- Whistleblowing policy
- Grievance process
- Dismissals process
- Performance management
- Absence management
Employee matters should be handled sensitively given the risk of regulatory action as well as the impact upon the organisation itself.
People management planning
PeoplePointHR can help you develop a people management plan to ensure that all employee matters are dealt with in a prompt, efficient and fair manner.
Optical practices should also have strategies in place to achieve their business goals but without compromising on:
- Patient safety
- Patient interests
- The professional integrity of the practitioner
- The professional integrity of the practice owner
- Fairness to other staff
PeoplePointHR can review your existing strategies and make recommendations for improvement to ensure that you are operating in a legally compliant manner.
The Optical Confederation
During the recent general election, all parties gave priority to health within their individual manifestos. The Optical Confederation is a coalition of many of the key optical professional bodies, and they went on to say:
“The need to modernise and deliver more care outside hospital and closer to home to meet the growing healthcare needs is urgent and now long overdue. Nowhere is this more urgent than in eye care where 20 people a month are needlessly losing their sight because of hospital pressures, and shifting services out-of-hospital and improving quality of life have not been prioritised by any of the political leaders yet.”
Optical practices which have robust processes, policies and strategies in place will be well placed to take advantage of the changing market.
How PeoplePointHR can help optical businesses
PeoplePointHR can help professional optical business owners to make positive changes to the way in which their business is managed and bring some real tangible benefits for the future.
As HR employment professionals with a good understanding of your sector, we are well equipped to help you with many of the daily challenges that you currently face.
Alongside our remote HR offering, we also offer advice on-site where we can support you with some of the more difficult areas of managing a modern optical workforce.
Our HR services
Our work with optical practices includes:
- Guidance on lone working
- Risk assessment including home eye tests
- The working time directive
- Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults
We have also assisted a significant number of individual franchise’s with the development and implementation of a performance appraisal process, support in attaining investors In people accreditation, support and training for line managers which reduced monthly absence days from an average of 23 days to just 8 days per month saving the business a potential £37k of revenue per month.
We believe that modern opticians need to focus as much on its approach to business as it does to the welfare of its clients and the community in which it serves.
Equally, we see the staff that the business employs and the way in which they are managed, as important as any digital retinal camera, both if “set up” and managed correctly will provide you with the results that you need.
Contact us today on 0330 555 2555 for further information.