Meet…Carolyn Simmonds!

Meet…Carolyn Simmonds!

Tell us a bit about your day job, what it entails, and about your Practice please?

I am the Operations Manager at Tudor Lodge Surgery. My job each day starts with sorting AskMyGP requests and any staffing or clinic issues we may have. Then whilst keeping my eye on AskMyGP I deal with any other issues that may arise from a system going down, the Health and Safety updates, policies, patient issues, staff reviews, auditing, a blocked toilet, a boiler not working, emails, phone calls, building maintenance and more.
Tudor Lodge Surgery is a very busy practice and there is never a dull moment. We have around 11k patients from all walks of life; and the staff here are like one big family.

Would you ever travel to space? And why?

Yes – just to get some peace and quiet, this world has gone
mad!

For anyone keen to make a change in the world, where do you think they should start?

Believe in yourself. We humans are capable of a lot more than we think. There are hidden talents in us all so if you can make a change for the better, don’t hold back.

What is your preference- pineapple on a pizza or pepperoni on a pizza? Why?

Pineapple is weird on a pizza it’s too sweet; I am more of a savoury person.

I have been quite surprised of the lack of succession planning there is in Practice Management compared to the commercial world (which is the world I know most). What is your view on this?

This is more of a question for a Practice Manager than me. If I may change the question slightly? In my view it is more about what opportunities exist in Practice Management as not many vacancies are advertised because many PMs stay on as committed to the job. Practice management is a skilled job, you must know a little about a lot and then a lot about specific business areas. I have supported our Practice Manager as an Operations Manager for a couple of years now and have only touched the surface of what is needed to be a PM. Having worked for the NHS since 2014 climbing my own ladder of progression I have been lucky to be supported by the surgery and my challenge is to understand the strategic planning side of a business and the bigger picture of Primary Care and where we fit in.

What is it the best part of general practice in your opinion?

Everyday making a difference to patients where you can, even if it’s in a small way or you get an unexpected “thank you” from someone. The best part during this Pandemic has been seeing the v comradery between staff from different surgeries come together in a mission to get the community vaccinated. Teamworking is fundamental to the future of general practice.

Where can we find you when you are not at work? And why is this place so special?

When not at work I am either out walking my dog with my hubby or in my garden. I love going for walks anywhere, in any weather. I grew up in Devon and use to live in the countryside with Dartmoor as my playground. My garden is my hobby. It’s not a big garden but I’m sure Monty Don would love it. Gardening is my way of unwinding being close to nature, listening to the birds and the water feature in my little pond. My garden is my little piece of tranquillity and calm. Although my puppy is having his input in rearranging it!

Pier Health Group has great potential, doesn’t it?

I believe Pier Health Group has potential; it brings the ideas and skills of everyone together in one place. I’m interested in what Pier Health Group has planned for the future and what is going to happen and whether the implementation of any plans creates more opportunities for people like myself.

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