Although we both have young families, Clare and I both dreamed of starting a small, independent practice and working for ourselves for a long while. At times, it has been a juggling act but we have worked very hard on the practice since Clare came back from maternity leave in early 2014. This hard work paid off, and 2014 was our biggest year to date.
Right from the conception of our business plan, we chose to become a very healthcare orientated practice. This is what led us to choosing a premises within a medical centre. In 2014 we had a big refurbishment, giving the practice a much more ‘clinical’ feel and making the premises more wheelchair friendly.
Under the watchful eye of Jane, our low vision accredited Optometrist, and in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government, we started our specialist Low Vision clinic. This clinic allows us to help people who can not see well, even with their glasses on. We can prescribe special lighting and magnifiers free of charge to the patient to aid in their day to day living and in many cases, help them regain some independence.
We also opted to also specialise in children’s eyecare. This saw the introduction of the ‘unbreakable’ Miraflex frames – suitable from babies to teenagers and special needs patients. We also started supplying Blinx charms to keep children interested in their spectacles and we invested in specialised equipment for testing children’s eyes.
Thank you to all our fabulous patients for visiting us in 2014. Our aims for 2015 are to grow our patient base, to work in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government on their smoking cessation initiative (which is designed to help a patient stop smoking at no charge to themselves) and to continue to help everyone to realise that coming to see the optician is a necessary health check and is about much more than just testing your eyes for spectacles.
Many thanks for your support in 2014, we look forward to seeing you all in 2015!
Francesca and Clare.