“I’ve found Specsavers to be a fantastic company who support in any way they can!”

Posted on August 10, 2018
Author: Lifeatspecsavers

Meet Peter Morrow - Optometry Partner

in Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh

Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a Partner at Specsavers:
I completed my Pre-reg just outside Edinburgh, then moved on to work in town where I finished the Pathway course to own my own store. In 2015, I became a Partner in a large store with my fellow Retail Partner and I’ve been here ever since! From finishing my Pre-reg in 2010 to becoming a Partner in 2015, I’ve found Specsavers to be a fantastic company who support in any way they can.

How have you supported the career development of Optometrists in your store?
Finishing University and your Pre-reg year can be very daunting. Once qualified, some Optometrists think, ‘Is this it? Am I stuck testing eyes for the next 30 years!?’ I certainly asked myself those questions, so at Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh we’re keen to support Optometrists to develop their careers in any way they like.

For example, we currently have Optometrists who take on Pre-reg’s and supervise them through the year. We are also supporting one Optometrist through business development courses with the hope of her eventually becoming a Partner. Others have signed up to specialise in Independent Prescribing so we will support them through this course. There are plenty of career development opportunities out there if testing eyes alone doesn't cut the mustard for you.

How has your store supported Optometrists relocating to join your team from afar?
It can be difficult moving to a new area for various reasons. From our experience of relocating Optometrists, we know that some of their concerns include moving from friends/family, not knowing the area and the initial costs of relocating.

We have found offering flexibility with shifts to be a major plus. To combat the initial homesickness some may feel, we give our clinicians the option of working a condensed week (4 days per week) to give them the chance to travel home on days off. We always seek to give at least a couple of days off together and are happy to sort out a run of days for trips home.

Deposits for renting property can also be off-putting, so we are more than happy to have conversations with Optometrists about how to get help with a relocation fee. In the past, we have always helped out where we can by offering our new staff recommendations as to the best areas to move to.

How is your store driving forward optometry in your local community?
In the past, we have visited schools and even given presentations to the students. Currently, we are looking at further opportunities to do this again.

What clinical and technological advances has your store invested in?
Our store is only 3 years old, so we have a lot of new equipment. We have a few short-form rooms with phoropters. Our lab has also just had a £40k refit and now boasts the newest glazing machines. This year, we have plans in place to fit a new fundus camera and OCT machine.

How has the store developed in the time you’ve been there?
We have grown from a store with three employed Optometrists to a store with six. We run more clinics than ever, on average four per day.

We have had another two Pre-reg’s pass with us in the last two years and have another signed up for this year. Our footfall has increased immensely, which has led to a year on year increase in turnover. Additionally, our Contact Lens business has had a huge uplift over the past three years.

Describe the culture of Specsavers Fort Kinnaird in three words:
Enthusiastic, friendly and ambitious.

What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers in Scotland?
Do it! I made the move around eight years ago with the plan on moving home after a year. However, Edinburgh is such a great place the thought of moving home hasn't crossed my mind! It's very easy to settle here.

Finally, what does your store have planned for the future?
We pride ourselves on having a positive, fun place to work. We plan on continuing to work hard but, most of all, enjoying ourselves along the way. We aim to maintain our growth as a business and help to guide even more Optometrists into careers they can be enthusiastic about.

You can read more stories from our Partners here